We humans believe in the importance of recognizing and remembering outstanding individuals for their accomplishments in a sport, industry, organization or other endeavor.
For example, John Irving, one of my favorite living novelists, is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. Nashville has a Country Music Hall of Fame. There’s a Memphis Music Hall of Fame and of course the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
In Chow Town we have a Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame and a Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame. We recognize jazz greats in the American Jazz Museum and we recognize barbecue greats in the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
Three barbecue greats — Paul Kirk, Ed Fisher and Steven Raichlen — were inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame recently on the main stage at the 36th Annual American Royal World Series of Barbecue.
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Their contributions to the art, sport and business of barbecue are detailed on the Barbecue Hall of Fame website. Each inductee was introduced by the person who nominated them. Ed Fisher, Business/Industry category, was introduced by Ray Lampe. Steven Raichlen, Celebrity/Humanitarian, was introduced by Doug Worgul. Paul Kirk, Pitmaster, was introduced by Carolyn Wells.
Fisher is known in the barbecue community for developing the Big Green Egg, a kamado-style ceramic cooker that can be used as a grill, oven or smoker.
Raichlen, celebrity/humanitarian, wrote “The Barbecue Bible” and 30 more barbecue books; five are James Beard award winners. Raichlen hosts barbecue TV shows: “Primal Grill,” “Barbecue University,” and “Primal Smoke.” His books and shows have inspired and instructed millions of pitmasters and grillmasters everywhere.
Kirk, Pitmaster, also known as the Kansas City Baron of Barbecue, is well-known in the national and international competition barbecue network as well as the general public for his more than 545 awards in barbecue and other cooking contests, including seven world championships.
He has authored/co-authored twelve published barbecue books. His Baron’s School of Pitmasters has been going strong for 17 years and counting. Kirk is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and served several terms on the KCBS Board.
Congratulations to the 2015 Barbecue Hall of Fame inductees for their outstanding role in promoting the art, science, business and sport of barbecue.
Ardie Davis founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. His most recent releases are America’s Best BBQ (Revised Edition), with chef Paul Kirk, and Barbecue Lover’s Kansas City Style .