Alabama Tourism Department Debuts Masters of Alabama BBQ

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Exhibit touring the U.S. will highlight Alabama’s popular barbecue chefs and favorite dishes

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We have developed the Masters of Alabama BBQ photo exhibit and tour in order to showcase the diversity, expertise, tradition and pride associated with Alabama barbecue.

With 2015 declared as the “Year of Alabama BBQ,” the Alabama Tourism Department is proud to announce the debut of the Masters of Alabama BBQ photo exhibit and tour. The exhibit, focusing on 26 popular Alabama barbecue chefs and their favorite dishes, will tour top barbecue festivals across the nation beginning with Memphis in May this spring. Accompanying the photo exhibit will be the new 57-minute documentary titled Q: Alabama BBQ Legends, which features interviews with barbecue greats such as John Bishop Jr. from Dreamland, Don McLemore and Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson, Nick Pihakis from Jim ’N Nick’s, Van Sykes from Bob Sykes, and many others.

“The Year of Alabama BBQ is already well-received across the state, but now we want to extend our reach into popular barbecue destinations and make our presence known,” said Lee Sentell, Director of the Alabama Tourism Department. “We have developed the Masters of Alabama BBQ photo exhibit and tour in order to showcase the diversity, expertise, tradition and pride associated with Alabama barbecue.”

The tour schedule is as follows:
●    Memphis, May 14-16 – Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
●    Washington, D.C., June 27-28 – Safeway Barbecue Battle
●    Atlanta, Aug. 14-15 – Atlanta Bar-B-Q Festival
●    Kansas City, Oct. 1-4 – American Royal World Series of Barbecue
●    New Orleans, Oct. 16-18 – Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

The Masters of Alabama BBQ, whose portraits are displayed in this exhibit, are but a small sample of the men and women who proudly create and serve a food that borders on a national obsession. Their stories are as unique and full of local flavor as the piled-high plates they put in front of their hungry customers. Portraits featured in the exhibit are as follows:

●    Chris Lilly, Bib Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
●    Woodrow Washington, Archibald & Woodrow’s Bar-B-Q
●    Madison “Big Daddy” Terry, Big Daddy’s Real Pit Bar-B-Que
●    Glen Gulledge, Byron’s Smokehouse
●    Mike Holley, Chuck Wagon BBQ
●    Sam Nakos, Demetri’s BBQ
●    Betsy McAtee, Dreamland
●    Danny “Fat Boy” Loftin, Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Que Ranch
●    Fred Small, Fred’s Small Time Bar-B-Q
●    Mike Booker, Golden Rule Bar-B-Q
●    Mike Hancock, Hancock’s Bar-B-Que
●    T.J. Allen, Hog Wild BBQ
●    Nick Pihakis, Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q
●    Jeff Frazier, L.A. Barbecue
●    Lula Hatcher, Lannie’s Bar-B-Q Spot
●    Carolyn Jackson, McMillan Bar-B-Que
●    Earlie “Bam” Threatt, R&B Bar-B-Q
●    Jesse McWilliams, Real Pit Bar-B-Q
●    Brittney Taylor, Rib-It-Up
●    Corey Culver, Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings
●    Jeff Carter, Smokin’ on the Boulevard
●    Dale Pettit, Top Hat Barbecue
●    Rawls Webb, Webb’s 231 Bar-B-Q

The Alabama Tourism Department announced the launch of the Year of Alabama BBQ campaign in February. The tourism campaign focuses on Alabama’s barbecue heritage, award-winning restaurants and talented pit masters.

Highlights of the campaign include the website, a new smartphone app that alerts users when they are near one of the state’s top barbecue restaurants, a photo exhibit of legendary pit masters, a new documentary film about the state’s barbecue culture, publication of the book Alabama Barbecue: Delicious Road Trips and the first inductees into the Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame.

More information about the Year of Alabama BBQ can be found online at

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Maree Jones
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