|BBQ Pitmaster Myron Mixon with troops|
John Markus, Pitmaster and Executive Producer of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters is leading award-winning Pitmasters Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Jaime Geer, Nicole Davenport and George “Tuffy” Stone on their first USO tour. This September, the Kings of BBQ served up more than 2,000 pounds of beef brisket and barbecue sauce, 4,500 pounds of chicken leg quarters, and 210 gallons of barbecue sauce and all the fixings to feed more than 3,000 deployed troops during two events in Kuwait.
“A trip to the Middle East to feed our troops barbecue has been a dream of mine for more than five years,” says John Markus of the trip. Markus, an Emmy-award winning writer, apprenticed under world champion Pitmasters Paul Kirk of Kansas City (aka The Baron of Barbeque) and Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson. He cooks regularly on the New England BBQ circuit, garnering many awards along the way, and has been bestowed a PhB by the Kansas City Barbecue Society—an honorary status awarded to only a handful of Pitmasters.
“Having the opportunity to come to Kuwait and cook for the troops is such a tremendous experience,” adds George “Tuffy”
Pitmaster Johnny Trigg greets the troops
Stone, owner of Q Restaurants, a chain of Virginia-based restaurants, and Sharper Palate Catering Company, an award-winning premier caterer in Richmond, Va. “As a former Marine, there’s nothing more I would have enjoyed than some American barbecue. The smell of barbecue in the air seems to be quite the attraction over here, bringing smiles to troops that we haven’t even fed yet.”
The 210 gallons of barbecue sauces and 100 pounds of rub used during the tour were provided by Head Country Barbecue, an Oklahoma-based company that has been producing award-winning barbecue sauces since 1947. Ole Hickory Pits, a Missouri-based manufacturer and seller of state-of-the-art wood burning smoker ovens provided the barbecue pits. In addition to barbecue brisket and chicken, troops feasted on coleslaw, beans and potato salad.
Myron Mixon, one of the most awarded men in competitive barbecue and chief cook at Jack’s Old South Competition Team, says, “The troops couldn’t be [greater]. Some of them have seen the show and know us. They have concerts and entertainers come through to see them, but what we’re doing is getting their bellies full and puttin’ them to sleep!”
Learn more about the USO here.