May 19, 2015 – The American Royal Association today
announced the 2015 class of inductees to the Barbecue Hall of Fame: Ed Fisher,
Paul Kirk and Steven Raichlen. The formal induction ceremony will take place on
the main stage of the American Royal World Series of Barbecue® event at
Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, October 3rd at 7:00 pm.
Each year, three individuals are awarded the prestigious
honor and are recognized by the Barbecue Hall of Fame for their significant
contributions to the barbecue community and demonstration of achievement in
barbecue excellence in one of three categories: Pitmaster, Business/Industry,
This year, the Barbecue Hall of Fame will welcome the
following three inductees:
Business/Industry Category: Ed Fisher
Ed Fisher was one of the first people in the United States
to catch on to the fun and flavor of kamado cooking. After eating a meal
prepared in a kamado grill in the early 1970s, Ed declared it the “best food he
had ever eaten.” Making it his mission to get these cookers into backyards
everywhere, he began importing these rudimentary clay kamados from Asia and
selling them out of an Atlanta storefront in 1974.
These early models, made of the same design that had been
used for thousands of years, produced great results and began to attract a
following. Ed made a decision to refine the quality and create the very best
outdoor cooker, period. While the overall shape and heat retention properties
of the kamado were part of his equation, the objective was to move far beyond
the inferior fire clay and produce the most technically advanced, highest
quality ceramic cooking device ever hatched!
While working on a strategy to generate awareness of this
revolutionary new invention, Ed would often comment how much the product
resembled an oversized egg. He decided to make the egg-shaped cooker fun and
distinctive by coloring it green, and the Big Green Egg was born.
Forty years ago, Ed Fisher envisioned a new category of
outdoor cookers and has worked tirelessly to nurture this design into one of
the world’s most iconic and beloved brands, the Big Green Egg. His vision and
dedication has been instrumental in the creation of an outdoor cooking category
and in the promotion of the barbecue industry as a whole.
Pitmaster Category: Paul Kirk
Paul Kirk, known in many circles as the Kansas City Baron of
Barbecue, has won more than 475 cooking and barbecue awards, including seven
World Championships. His storied barbecue career is highlighted by his victory
at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue® Invitational Contest in 1991.
Author of seven barbecue books, Paul has also directed the
Baron’s School of Pitmasters for 17 years. He is a founding member of the
Kansas City Barbeque Society and served 25 years on the Board of Directors. He
has also trained barbecue restaurant staffs across the United States and
conducted seminars at national conventions for the International Association of
Culinary Professionals (IACP). In 1998 and 2000, he was a member of The Julia
Child BBQ Team of Ten at the IACP conventions, raising funds for the Julia
Child Endowment Foundation.
Paul writes monthly columns for Kansas City Bullsheet, the
National Barbecue News, and the Goat Gap Gazette. He has appeared on the “Today
Show,” Discovery Channel, “CBS This Morning,” “Talk Soup,” and Anthony
Bourdain’s “In Search of the Perfect Meal.” He has been featured in the AARP’s
Modern Maturity Magazine, Saveur and the Calgary Herald.
Paul has taken his barbecue knowledge on the road across the
United States and abroad to countries including South Korea, Ireland, Canada
Celebrity/Humanitarian Category: Steven Raichlen
Steven Raichlen is a world-renowned author, journalist,
television host, lecturer and novelist. He wrote the award-winning
international blockbusters The Barbecue Bible, How To Grill and Planet Barbecue
(Workman Publishing). His 30 books (two of them million + bestsellers) and
public television shows — “Primal Grill,” “Barbecue University,” and the new
“Project Smoke” — have redefined modern American barbecue. He also hosts two
French language barbecue shows — “Le Maitre du Grill” and “La Tag Barbecue.”
Steven’s books have won five James Beard Awards and three IACP — Julia Child
Awards and have been translated into 17 languages.
Steven has competed against — and defeated — an Iron Chef on
Japanese television. He has lectured on the history of barbecue at the
Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University, and he founded “Barbecue
University” at The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs. He has written for The
New York Times, Esquire, GQ, and all the major food magazines. Steven holds a
degree in French literature from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and studied
medieval cooking in Europe on a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship.
The American Royal officially became the home of the
Barbecue Hall of Fame® in 2012. Previous inductees to the Barbecue Hall of Fame
include recognizable and notable figures in barbecue history. Read more about
these previous inductees at www.barbecuehalloffame.com.
The American Royal World Series of Barbecue® will be at
Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City from October 1st- 4th. This year promises to be another success with
great food, musical entertainment, fireworks and plenty of family fun Saturday
in the Kid’s Korral. To experience the
world’s largest barbecue contest or to experience what Guy Fieri calls “the
most outrageous, wild, fantastic, off the hook, gotta do experience in your
lifetime”, visit www.AmericanRoyal.com.
Admission to the induction ceremony is included with general
entry tickets, which can be purchased at the entry gate or online. VIP Tickets include preferred seating and
other special benefits and must be purchased in advance by visiting
www.AmericanRoyal.com or by contacting Kim Palmer at (816) 569-4025.
For more information or to inquire about sponsorship and
marketing opportunities, call the American Royal at (816) 221-9800 or visit
About the American Royal’s World Series of Barbecue®
The American Royal World Series of Barbecue, presented by
UMB, is one of the most popular and highly attended events on the professional
barbecue competition circuit. It is organized and hosted by the American Royal
Association, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that has been a Kansas City
tradition since 1899. Each year more than 270,000 people attend events at the
American Royal Complex. In 2014, the Royal was able to give $1.4 million in
scholarship and educational awards. In addition to its educational mission, the
American Royal generates some $60 million of economic impact, $4.4 million in
local tax revenues, and supports 450 jobs. The 2015 American Royal is presented
by Bayer HealthCare Animal Health Division and includes many other events. For
more information, visit www.AmericanRoyal.com or call (816) 221-9800.