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I am the publisher of AmazingRibs.com and the author of most of the content. I am also the author of Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling, a New York Times Best Seller and named one of the “100 Best Cookbooks of All Time” by Southern Living.
Dad was the first to call me Meathead after watching Archie Bunker and now everyone calls me that. No offense taken. In fact, I love it. It’s better than what my editors and my wife call me. If you’ve read this far, you’re my BBQ buddy and you can call me whatever you want.
I am drawn to flame, and I have spent enough time around it that I have become a Barbecue Whisperer, Hedonism Evangelist, and Culinary Mythbuster. An eater, drinker, writer, photographer, and teacher and I love cooking. Almost as much as eating. Especially outdoor cooking. The Greek god Bacchus is my paragon.
I’ve had the privilege of judging barbecue and other foods and drinks from Italy to California. I have been a judge at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, at the first Kingsford Invitational, at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition, at the Banco d’Assagio wine competition in Torgiano, Italy, at the World-Wide Mustard Competition, and the World Championship Steak Cook-Off. I have served as Chief Judge of the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and Chief Judge of the College Football Hall of Fame Kickoff Riboff, and I founded and directed for many years the World Wine Championships, World Beer Championships, and World Spirits Championships.
Along the way I have tried to share my love of the sensory with words and pictures. I was a journalism major at the University of Florida and I have written hundreds of articles about food and drink for consumers as a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post (the great Phyllis Richmann was my editor), the Chicago Tribune (several not so great editors), and scores more for the trade magazine Restaurant Hospitality (the awesome Gail Bellamy was my editor). My food columns can still be found on Huffington Post and many other publications.
I lectured for more than a decade on wine at Cornell University’s famous School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, NY, and I was an adjunct professor at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago for three years. I have been a guest lecturer at Yale and many cooking schools. As founder of the Beverage Testing Institute I produced seven books on wine, beer, and spirits. Since then I have lectured from Yale to the University of Minnesota and various venues all over the country.
Over the years, outdoor cooking has become my passion (my wife would call it my obsession). A radio interviewer introduced me once as a “Barbecue Whisperer and Hedonism Evangelist” a moniker I kinda like. My ambition to share a few recipes and tips is what has fired me to bring AmazingRibs.com alive.