Meet The Pitmasters For This Year's Q In The Lou

By Mackenzie Taylor
In Culture

Are you ready for the top BBQ chefs from around the country to bring their skills to STL for Q in the Lou Sept. 25-27? Celebrate great cooking tutorials, a BBQ innovations expo, live music and the best barbecue in America. Featuring pitmasters from the most sought-after barbecue spots, starting in upstate New York all the way to the Mississippi Delta, Q in the Lou is the premier event for tasty barbecue. We’ve teamed up with Q in the Lou to introduce you to the nine celebrity chefs to get your appetite ready for this epic barbecue event.

Carey Bringle

Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker in Nashville, TN
A barbecue veteran, Bringle brings 25 years of competition and mastery to Q in the Lou. While his popular restaurant, Peg Leg Porker, has appeared on “Bizarre Foods America,” Bringle promises to bring his signature dry ribs, which he calls “a dying art,” to STL and they’re anything but bizarre.

Mike Emerson

Mike Emerson of Pappy’s Smokehouse in STL
A STL favorite, the mastermind of Pappy’s Smokehouse will be on the scene at Q in the Lou. Emerson says he’ll be preparing a whole hog and pit-baked beans for the event, so get hungry now. You can grab tickets for his class, The Ultimate Smoked Turkey, on Sept. 26.

Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson of Sugarfire Smoke House in STL
After opening some of STL’s favorite restaurants, including Boogaloo, Barcelona and El Scorcho, Johnson went on to master barbecue at Sugarfire Smoke House. Bringing his skills to Q in the Lou, Johnson will be cooking pork steak, which he calls “the most St. Louis thing ever.”  And just in case that’s not enough, his “rack ‘n’ cheese” and salmon will also on hand to tempt barbecue-lovers.

Brad and Brooke Orrison

Brad and Brooke Orrison of The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS
Featured in Southern Living and several TV shows, sibling-owned restaurant The Shed may have started as a tiny roadside takeout but now smokes a ton-and-a-half of meat each day. Don’t forget to test out Brad and Brooke Orrison’s top-rated Shed Sauce and their hands-on lesson in barbecue, Cooking Whole Hog, Sept 27.

Garry Roark

Garry Roark of Ubon’s in Yazoo City, MS
Roark got into the barbecue game with his world-famous Ubon’s Sauce, which has led him to winning hundreds of trophies in the competitive barbecue circuit. Currently running Ubon’s Restaurant alongside his daughter, the pair will be bringing their delicious pulled pork, barbecue chicken and delta caviar to Q in the Lou, where you can also get Roark’s pro cooking tips in The Ultimate Smoked Turkey class on Sept. 26.

Scott Roberts

Scott Roberts of The Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX
After opening the first The Salt Lick outside of Austin in 1967, Roberts has since opened three restaurants across the Texas Hill Country and has been sharing his family’s recipe with the thousands of people entering his restaurant weekly. Come try out the dish he is most famous for, brisket, and learn Roberts’ brisket tricks on Sept. 26 at the Old School vs. New School Brisket demo.

Tom Schmidt and Haley Riley

Tom Schmidt and Haley Riley of Salt + Smoke in STL
Tom Schmidt and Haley Riley know a thing or two about meat. When they’re not smoking brisket at Salt + Smoke in U City, they’re taking charcuterie to the next level at Franco in Soulard. One of their most talked-about dishes, brisket, is what they will be serving at Q in the Lou and as Tom says, “chasing that brisket game is what we’re all about.” Riley will also be sharking his brisket knowledge at Old School vs. New School Brisket on Sept. 26.

John Stage

John Stage of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse, NY
The idea for the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que was born at Harley Rendezvous, a motorcycle gathering outside of Albany, New York in 1983. Since then, avid biker and owner John Stage has opened three more restaurants, including one in Brooklyn, Harlem and Chicago. Although he will be serving up pulled pork sandwiches with his infamous Syracuse-style salt potatoes, be sure to check out his rib cooking tips at World-Class Ribs on Sept. 27.

John David Wheeler

John David Wheeler of Memphis Barbecue Company in Horn Lake, MS
Three time award-winner of the Memphis in May Grand World Championship, Wheeler is the head cook for the Natural Born Grillers BBQ team as well as a partner at Memphis Barbecue Company in Mississippi. Tap Wheeler’s rib know-how at the World-Class Ribs tutorial, because like he always says, the old saying, “fall off the bone,” was made by someone who overcooked their ribs.

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