Huge thanks to BBQ Pro Shop, for volunteering for our very first Non-Texas BBQ Giveaway. A bottle of Hill Country Barbecue sauce and a shaker of Plowboys BBQ rub were up for grabs:
(1) For the sauce: What well-known griller did Gretchen once work for?
Answer: Elizabeth Karmel
Winner: David Cantrill (Conroe, TX)
(2) For the rub: What food business did Jeff work for, while growing up in Highwood, Illinois?
Answer: Poeta's Food Mart
Winner: Lori Hansel (Austin, TX)
Here's more on BBQ Pro Shop (from the webpage just linked):
BBQ Pro Shop is the place to find only the best quality Barbecue utensils, accessories, spices, barbecue rubs and smokers to help you grill like pro. We bring with us years of experience in working with some of the best smokers and grillers in the business. We strive to carry only the highest quality products, we would not sell anything we do not use ourselves.
Growing up Jeff worked at Poeta's Food Mart in Highwood, IL. Famous for it's homemade italian sausage, Jeff worked Highwood Days as a teenager and grilled thousands of sausages and marinated skirt steaks that were sold at the festival for Poeta's. Jeff worked as a caterer and grilled for Poeta's as well. He learned to make Italian sausage, de-bone chicken breasts and trim beef tenderloins. His Poppy taught him to BBQ on the gas grill that was always on the deck at his childhood home and he often grilled for the family.
Gretchen moved to Chicago from Buffalo and met Jeff while working for Elizabeth Karmel and learned the art of grilling from the master. Gretchen worked on the Weber Grill account for many years and honed her skills in cooking attending many James Beard dinners and learning how to grill from Elizabeth and the many experts they came in contact with. Gretchen taught Jeff that there was more to life than skirt steak, burgers, sausage and chicken breasts. Gretchen took Jeff to the world famous Memphis in May BBQ Contest and their life changed forever.
Gretchen and Jeff began to grill together after getting married in 2000 and they honed their skills, getting their first Primo Smoker and learning to smoke ribs, chicken and sausage. They love to grill everything and the only thing that goes in the oven is stuff that just will not work on the grill. (Mostly chicken fingers for their two children) Jeff has mastered ribs and is working on smoked brisket. Their specialty is beer can chicken and their annual Thanksgiving feast which includes BBQ Turkey, always cooked on the grill, never in the oven and many racks of smoked baby back ribs. Ribs became a tradition because Gretchen's father Harold was not a fan of turkey. Now the ribs are the biggest hit and the crowd grows every year.
BBQ Pro Shop was born out of a love for BBQ smoking and grilling. We kept finding all of these wonderful products that we used every time we grilled and could not find anywhere to buy them on a consistent basis. Now we have a stock room full of Willingham's, Sarah's Sea Salt, Reniassance Rub, 17th Street Sauces and Grill Friends tools which comes in handy. BBQ Pro Shop is our gift back to the world of BBQ, we have had the pleasure of knowing the love and fellowship of the BBQ community and sharing that with the world is our mission.
We hope you enjoy all of our products as much as we do and please have a look at our BBQ Pro Shop Blog for more information and updates about what we are cooking, BBQ Joints we have visited and new products.
To all of you, from both of us at BBQ Pro Shop - Thank you, thank you, thank you for your business and Happy Grilling!
Gretchen and Jeff
Owners and Operators