A Few Minutes With A BBQ Legend

Saturday, October 25, 2014 - by Steve Ray
Mike Mills takes time to catch up with an old friend after he signed her cast
Mike Mills takes time to catch up with an old friend after he signed her cast

The Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ Contest held each October in Lynchburg, Tn. has been described as “The Masters” of the BBQ competition world.

And like The Masters, “The Jack” as it is referred too, is a contest of the best the sport has to offer and also serves as sort of family reunion of past champions and participants.

Enter Mike Mills.

Mills was the BBQ Pitmaster of Apple Wood BBQ team. In the early to mid 1990s he and his team won just about every contest there was to win in that era. His team was based in Murprysboro, Il.

He is known as the Father of modern day competitive BBQ.

“I first heard of competition BBQ in 1988,” Mills said. “I heard of Memphis in May and I thought to myself that I could do that.”

“After I went there I knew I was hooked and I was going to make sure there was a contest later that year in Murphrysboro.”

Mills served as a judge for this 26th edition of The Jack.

“What I like about coming to these contests is keeping the BBQ tradition going,” Mills said. “These are such special folks out here and these contests are full of friends and people we’ve met along the way.”

Standing enjoying a rest under some shade, Mills is beckoned by a contest official that someone is here who must see him. Mills follows the official and sees an old friend who has a cast on her leg. They hug and of course, after a joyous reunion, he bends down and signs her cast.

“You see, this is what I mean by keeping these things going.” Soon, Mr. Mills has to go back to his role as guest judge, sampling pork and brisket with five other judges at the table. The most famous and influential person in BBQ settles quite comfortably into is role as BBQ judge along with close to 100 other judges.

Never once forgettting, where it all started. 

Cheesecake Factory To Open At Hamilton Place Mall

CBL Properties announced on Tuesday that The Cheesecake Factory is coming to Hamilton Place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as the first key component of the Sears redevelopment project. Construction on The Cheesecake Factory is underway with an anticipated grand opening in late 2018. “The Cheesecake Factory is one of the most successful and highly sought after restaurants in the ... (click for more)

“Share The Color” Food Workshops Offered For Chattanooga Area Children And Families

Local Registered Dietitians and Subway restaurants in the Chattanooga area will be helping families learn about nutritious food choices during several free food workshops, hosted at local city libraries in the Chattanooga area. The free food workshops will cover basic nutrition information and include a hands-on sub making activity and free lunch. Children will receive a take-home ... (click for more)

Toned-Down UnifiEd PAC Effort Funds Coppinger, Fairbanks, Smedley, Sharpe, Gorman, Mackey

The UnifiEd PAC, which helped engineer a surprise County Commission election victory in May for political newcomer Katherlyn Geter, is not making public endorsements in the Aug. 2 election, but is putting its money behind a small slate of candidates. The financial disclosures for UnifiEd show the group strongly backing County Mayor Jim Coppinger over Democratic opponent Aloyse ... (click for more)

Juvenile Girl Who Was Shot On Doolittle Street Early Sunday Morning Has Critical Injuries

A juvenile girl who was shot early Sunday morning on Doolittle Street was in critical condition. Chattanooga Police responded at approximately 12:55 a.m. on to a person shot on the 2500 block of Doolittle Street.   Police were able to make contact with the victim at a local hospital where she was suffering from a critical, but non-life threatening gunshot wound. The ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Don't Let UnifiEd Take District 6

The UnifiEd APEX organization is working to remove Commissioner Joe Graham and has their poster candidate running in opposition to Michael Henry for School Board.   Please get the facts before you vote in the District 6 county races and reject the UnifiEd APEX candidates.   Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham and Michael Henry, School Board candidate District ... (click for more)