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American Royal Announces Inductees for Barbecue Hall of Fame®


Public Invited to Attend Induction Ceremony on Saturday, October 4th

at World Series of Barbecue® Championship in Kansas City


(Kansas City, MO) – The American Royal Association today announced the 2014 class of inductees to the Barbecue Hall of Fame: Henry Perry, Pat Burke, and Ray Lampe.  The formal induction ceremony will take place on the main stage of the World Series of Barbecue® Championship event at the American Royal Complex on Saturday, October 4th 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, and Celebrity/Humanitarian.

The Barbecue Hall of Fame and the 2014 Induction Ceremony is presented by Weber-Stephen Products LLC, the world’s premier manufacturer of charcoal, gas and electric grills, grilling accessories and award-winning cookbooks and mobile applications. Additional sponsorship of the Barbecue Hall of Fame is provided by YETI Coolers.

This year, the Barbecue Hall of Fame will welcome the following three inductees:

Business/Industry Category: Henry Perry

Henry Perry, known as the “King of Barbecue”, was the first recorded commercial barbecue restaurateur and entrepreneur in Kansas City. He is an icon of success for generations of barbecue enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. 

The city’s rich history of barbecue can be traced to this former steamboat restaurant worker who made Kansas City his home in 1907 after spending his teens and early twenties floating on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Henry started a barbecue pushcart operation where he sold smoked meats to workers in the heart of Kansas City’s Garment District. His passion, drive, and determination to provide the best of barbecue to Kansas City led him to expand his smoked meats pushcart business into what ultimately became the most notable lineage of barbecue legends and made Kansas City the Barbecue Capital of the World. 

In less than five years, Henry had expanded his barbecue business from a smoked meats pushcart in an alleyway to opening Kansas City’s first barbecue restaurants in an old trolley barn. Henry is known as “the father of Kansas City barbecue” because his pit not only provided a variety of smoked meats, including raccoon, mutton, pork, beef, and succulent slow-cooked ribs that he served on pages of newsprint for 25 cents a slab, it also served as the training ground for barbecue legends like George Gates and Charlie Bryant.

When Henry passed away in 1940, he left his restaurant to Charlie Bryant, who ran it with the help of his brother, Arthur Bryant. Over the years, the restaurant has expanded and has shared Henry’s legacy and legendary barbecue with people of all races, from all continents, and many famous faces, including United States Presidents Jimmy Carter, Harry Truman, and Barack Obama.

Henry’s hard work and commitment to building a barbecue business, coupled with his pitmaster talents for making tasty smoked meats and sauces, made him “the father of Kansas City barbecue” and his community the Barbecue Capital of the World. Today, the city boasts more barbecue-related eating establishments, barbecue restaurateurs, barbecue industry executives, and barbecue sauce aficionados than anywhere in the world. Each year, several thousand people visit Kansas City to experience the best barbecue and sauces in the world, and attend the American Royal’s World Series of Barbecue® Championships.

Pitmaster Category: Pat Burke

Pat Burke, the legendary mentor to many of today’s top barbecue pitmasters, has won more barbecue titles and championships than any living person.

Pat formed Apple City Barbecue in 1989 with his buddy (and fellow Hall of Fame member), Mike Mills, and won a trophy in their first barbecue contest. The pitmaster pair immediately found their calling and went on to become one of the most celebrated teams ever on the barbecue contest circuit.

Pat’s pitmaster skills and his innate abilities to make great barbecue are unmatched. His impressive contest record, which spans over a quarter century with Apple City Barbecue and his family team, Tower Rock BBQ, includes hundreds of trophies and top barbecue awards, including 185 Grand Champions wins at over 255 contests, several State Champions wins, three Grand World Champion titles and five World Champions at Memphis in May, Grand Champion of The Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest, and earning the Memphis Barbecue Network BBQ Team of the Year for three consecutive years.

His passion for barbecue extends beyond the pit to other pitmasters and people. He and his daughter are restaurateurs at Pat’s BBQ and Catering, where they serve Pat’s smoked meats to the Murphysboro, Illinois community. Many of today’s top pitmasters consider Pat a mentor and a sage, eager to share his insights on barbecuing. Pat continues to pass down the secrets of smoke, heat, meat, dry rubs and sauces that he learned from his listening, watching, and he has perfected over his nearly 30-year career in barbecue, to the next generation of pitmasters. He shares his traditions, tales, and tips to and also shows them how to be true champions.

Celebrity/Humanitarian Category: Ray Lampe (“Dr. BBQ”)

Ray Lampe, known as “Dr. BBQ”, sparked his career as an outdoor cooking expert in 2000 after spending nearly 20 years participating in barbecue contests and traveling the country practicing his pitmaster prowess.

Ray is one of the most recognizable professional pitmasters in the world. He has been featured as an expert judge on numerous cooking shows, including the Travel Channel’s “American Grilled”, FYI Network’s “World Food Championships”, and Food Network’s "Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri". For the past five years, Ray has served the Head Judge at Grillstock – King of the Grill in England. He hosts a cooking segment on Fox Sport Network's "Fishing the Flats" and a monthly “Ask Dr. BBQ” segment on the BBQ Central Radio Show. Ray is featured on Food Network’s “Diner, Drive-ins & Dives” and was a finalist on the Food Network’s 2012: "Chopped: Grill Masters". He’s also shared barbecue and cooking tips with millions of TV viewers on popular TV shows like The Talk and on CBS, HGTV, E! News, The NFL Network, The Discovery Channel and many local TV networks.

Ray has authored eight cookbooks including "Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Barbecue" and the official "NFL Gameday Cookbook" in partnership with the National Football League. He also serves as the spokesperson for the Big Green Egg.

Ray travels the country inspiring people to get outside and cook on their grill or smokers. He teaches how to cook low and slow barbecue at home, and shares the tips of today’s barbecue champions with the backyard barbecuer. Ray uses his cookbooks, classes, online tutorials, and guest appearances to educate, inform and inspire others to cook with the latest techniques and greatest tips in today’s barbecue industry. 


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, including: Rich Davis, Fred Gould, Speed Herrig, Mike Mills, Carolyn Wells, Gary Wells and John Willingham. Read more about these previous inductees at



The first induction ceremony for the Barbecue Hall of Fame at the American Royal included the following three inductees to the Barbecue Hall of Fame, Class of 2012:


Guy Fieri – host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network (Celebrity/Humanitarian Category)


Johnny Trigg – known as the “Godfather of Barbecue” and one of the featured personalities on Destination America’s hit barbecue show the BBQ Pitmasters (Pitmaster       Category)


Henry Ford – manufacturer of the charcoal briquette that ultimately became Kingsford Charcoal Company (Business/Industry Category)

Last year, the following three inductees were welcomed to the Barbecue Hall of Fame, Class of 2013:


Adam Perry Lang – a “meat mastero” widely known as the man who masters the art of cooking over fire, best-selling cookbook author, pioneer in urban barbecue with restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, and London, and promoter of barbecue on numerous TV, radio, and other media outlets. (Celebrity/Humanitarian Category)


Myron Mixon – known as “the Winningest Man in Barbecue” with decades of successes on several barbecue circuits, and one of the featured personalities on Destination         America’s hit barbecue show the BBQ Pitmasters (Pitmaster Category)


George A. Stephen, Sr. – Inventor of the Weber Kettle® and founder of Weber-Stephen Products LLC (Business/Industry Category)

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue® will be returning for the 35th year to the historic West Bottoms from October 2th- 5th.  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 www.AmericanRoyal.com.

About the American Royal’s World Series of Barbecue® Championship  

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 2013, 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 2014 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.


American Royal, 1701 American Royal Ct., Kansas City, MO 64102


American Royal Announces Inductees for Barbecue Hall of Fame®
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