Spreading love and reconciliation through barbecue




I wanted to let you know you have been a huge inspiration for me in my quest to become a great pitmaster.

I have been involved in backyard events since 2010, and have had good success with even winning the MD BBQ Bash here in Bel Air Maryland back-to-back years. I have been really trying to master the craft before jumping over to the pro side, which will happen this August with an invite from the MD BBQ Bash organizer. I am cooking on two 18.5” WSM’s which I must say you were a huge influence with watching you on the inaugural season of BBQ Pitmasters.

With all this being said, I will never forget hearing you on the BBQ Central radio show and said your motivation to do what you do was based on spreading happiness through BBQ.

Wow did that hit home!

I agree my motivation outside of competition is seeing people enjoy BBQ and bringing people together. This has been a huge crutch for me as last year I lost three unexpected loved ones in our family which really put me in somewhat of a depressed state, and even had made me stop cooking in a few competitions.

With watching an episode and seeing you do some meditation, I was intrigued and wanted to learn some techniques to get more grounded and feel somewhat whole again. I have been working with some holistic healing techniques also over the last few months, but learning some meditation techniques has been awesome.

Cooking BBQ has been very inspirational for me thanks to you, I wish I was on the West coast to be able to attend a cooking class I know you were on the east coast at Tasty Licks last year, but could not afford to attend at that time.

Thanks again for all you do, hopefully one day I will have a chance to meet you!

David Haber
“The Smokes On U” BBQ Team

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The email and picture above, which I posted with permission from David Haber, prompted me to write this short commentary.

As the late Mrs. Helen Walton, the wife of Sam Walton of the Walmart and Sam’s Club chain, said, ”Your life is measured not by what you gather but what you give away.”

Each and every one of us is blessed with a special gift of being able to help another human being. This help comes in many different forms including tangible things like money and intangible assistance like advice and friendship.

Every week or so, I get unsolicited emails from people whom I’ve touched through my barbecue journey and they candidly share the life lessons they have picked up from barbecue. These stories very often speak of the reconciliation, joy, and peace I’ve heard from many people I’ve met, in person or online, and how cooking barbecue has been a positive activity and influence in their lives. So, cooking barbecue isn’t always about just hanging with friends or earning bragging rights or Big Mullah or BAT’s (Big Ass Trophies). For some, it a way to spread love and reconciliation.  Thus, I will continue to cook lots of barbecue for today and tomorrow!