We all know Ray Lampe as Dr. BBQ, the Food Network celebrity chef and cookbook author best known, of course, for barbecue, including his latest, “Ray Lampe’s Big Green Egg Cookbook.”
Ray Lampe grew up in Chicago and spent 25 years in his family's trucking business. In 2000, when the trucking business had run its course, he decided it was time to move to Florida and try something new. He had been participating in barbecue cookoffs for fun since 1982, so he decided to take a leap and turn his hobby into a career as an outdoor cooking expert.
The career leap has certainly paid off. Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ is now one of the top names in the barbecue world, and in 2014 he was inducted into the BBQ Hall of Fame. Later this year he is opening his own restaurant, Dr. BBQ's, right here in St. Petersburg, where he has lived the past several years.
Dr. BBQ has been instrumental in this year's overhaul of the Top Local Chef competition, serving as a consultant and mentor for us here at LocalShops1. On April 30, he will be aboard Sir Winston, heading the judges' panel.
Here are some of the other things Dr. BBQ does:
• He judges! He is an expert judge on the Food Network's "Chopped" and “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri,” Travel Channel's "American Grilled," on “Smoked” with Myron Mixon, and now on LocalShops1's Top Local Chef!
• He cooks! Dr. BBQ has cooked in more than 300 barbecue contests, winning more than 300 awards! He is also a featured Pro-Chef on NBC's "Food Fighters" and a contestant on the Food Network Special “Chopped Grillmasters”
• He is the spokesman for several brands, including The Big Green Egg grill and smoker, Cabo Wabo Tequila, Kansas City Steak Company and the National Pork Board.
• He is all over the news! Dr. BBQ was featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” and has appeared on the Food Network, The Talk on CBS, E! News, HGTV, The NFL Network, The Discovery Channel, CNN and several other national and local TV shows. He has also been featured in dozens of publications, including Food & Wine Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People Magazine and Men’s Journal.
You can follow him on Twitter at @drbbq and on his Facebook page, Dr. BBQ.