Pat Burke has won more barbecue titles and championships than any living person. He formed Apple City Barbecue in 1989 with his friend and fellow Hall of Fame member, Mike Mills, and the team immediately excelled. They won a trophy at their first barbecue contest and went on to become one of the most celebrated teams ever on the barbecue circuit. Pat’s pitmaster skills span more than 25 years with Apple City Barbecue and his family team, Tower Rock BBQ.
Pat has won hundreds of trophies and top barbecue awards, including 185 grand championships, several state championships, three Grand World Champion titles, five World Champions at Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and Grand Champion of The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. He also won the Memphis Barbecue Network's Team of the Year three consecutive years and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Memphis BBQ Network.
Many of today’s top pitmasters consider Pat a mentor and a sage, eager to share his insights and experiences. Pat graciously passes down the secrets of smoke, heat, meat, dry rubs and sauces he learned from studying the craft over his nearly 30-year career to the next generation of pitmasters. He and his daughter, Patty, are restaurateurs at Pat’s BBQ and Catering, where they serve delicious smoked meats to the Murphysboro, Illinois, community.