At the early age of 5, cooking became a passion for Chris. It was the early 80s and the family had just purchased a microwave. In the box, a recipe book that included instructions on how to make scrambled eggs… in the microwave of course. From then on, the kitchen became a science lab for experimental cooking. As he grew older, watching Julia Child or Yan Can Cook on a black and white 19” television was where he would gain additional knowledge for his kitchen experiments.
Fast forward through college where he was appointed head cook of the apartment for his roommates and then onto married life where he gained a brother-in-law, Tom. After Tom’s living six years in North Carolina eating Carolina style BBQ and Chris’s three years living in Texas enjoying BBQ and Tex-Mex, they each found themselves back in Pennsylvania, settled down with their respective families and living about three hours apart. Both with a passion for cooking, they were missing BBQ from the states in which they once lived. With nothing to lose, one summer day in 2015 at Tom’s parent’s house, they set up a Weber Kettle grill in backyard and smoked their first pork butt. It was the best they ever cooked!
BBQ becomes a focus
Researching, reading, learning and practicing was driving their passion to get better to the point they felt that their BBQ was worthy enough of an award. And so began the research to create a team name find a contest. It was Christmas time and the brothers-in-law were in Tom’s office with all their kids playing on some wooden instruments. It was hardly music, but they felt they needed a backwoods name for this non-traditional bluegrass band and Brother-Uncle Band was born. “Brother” symbolizing the brother neither had growing up and “Uncle” serving as a reminder to be the best Uncles they could be to each other’s kids and best of all, it just had that backwoods sound to it. It was then they knew they had also just created the name for the BBQ team and so BROTHER-UNCLE BARBEQUE was also born. Interstate BBQ Festival would be their first ever competition in the backyard category. After all, they were amateurs, backyard cooks and knew there would be lots to learn so a backyard competition seemed appropriate and they might just stand a chance at being competitive.
Starting in 2016, BBQ competitions would become a family pastime and the team would navigate backyard competitions for the next three years. During that time the team obtained a pair of perfect 180s in ancillary competitions, won several backyard Grand Championships along with introducing Chris’s son, Colton, to his first kids Q and watching him score a perfect 180 in tacos to the team being drawn for the 2018 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Shadetree Competition in Lynchburg, Tennessee and finishing fourth overall. The team accomplished just about everything a backyard team could in the Mid-Atlantic region. Even though backyard remained a passion, the decision was made to compete in the KCBS Masters series and MABA Rookie Team of the Year as well as adding several SCA competitions to the calendar for the 2019 season with the story to be continued.
Outside of BBQ
Professionally, Chris holds a degree in engineering along with a master’s in business. He currently works as an inside sales manager for a large industrial pump company where he has 20+ years of applications, project management, marketing, training and continuous improvement and leadership experience.
At home, Chris and wife, Kelly reside in south central Pennsylvania with their two sons and daughter and their beloved mushy yellow lab, Somer.
Oh yeah, almost forgot, that first backyard competition… Chris & Tom took first place in chicken and were instantly bit by the BBQ competition bug.