In the world of barbecue, champion pitmaster Mike Mills is affectionately known as “The Legend.” He presides over the pits at his two nationally acclaimed 17th Street Barbecue barbecue restaurants in Southern Illinois.
In the early 1990s, he was co-captain of the Apple City Barbecue team, one of the most celebrated teams ever on the circuit. He is a four-time World Champion and three-time Grand World Champion at Memphis in May, otherwise known as the Super Bowl of Swine. He is also the 1992 Grand Champion of the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest and he won the Jack Daniel’s Sauce Contest that year as well.
Mike is the barbecue guru at and a partner in Blue Smoke restaurant in New York City. He was a founding partner in Memphis Championship Barbecue in Las Vegas. His book, Peace, Love, and Barbecue was nominated for a 2006 James Beard Foundation award and received the 2006 National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence. In October 2008 he was honored with the Pioneer of Barbecue award at the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest. Mike was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2010.