Chris Lilly, husband and father of three children, is one of America's best-known barbecue pitmasters. Lilly emerged on the barbecue scene in 1992 when he began working for the world famous Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurant in Decatur, Ala. Recognized by ‘The Wall Street Journal’ as having the best pork barbecue in the country and named the "Best Barbecue Restaurant in Alabama" by the ‘Birmingham News’, Lilly is now vice president of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.
Lilly also is head chef of the award-winning Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Competition Cooking Team, which has amassed 10 World BBQ Championships and six world titles at "Memphis in May" and the American Royal International Cook-Off and BBQ Sauce Competition. His first cookbook, "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint" was published in 2009 by Clarkson Potter.
Widely recognized as one of the top pitmasters in his field, Lilly has been a guest chef for five years running at the Food Network's South Beach Wine and Food Festival, has served as an honorary chef at the James Beard Foundation and the American Institute of Wine and Food, and was a presenter at the Low-Country and Caribbean Food Conference at Johnson and Wales University.
Lilly has appeared on "The Today Show," "Live with Regis and Kelly" and "The Martha Stewart Show" as well as numerous Food Network programs, including "Cooking Live with Sara Moulton" and "Fire in the Soul - The Barbecue Movie," and local television stations nationwide. Lilly has been featured in Food and Wine, The New York Times, Relish, Southern Living, Travel and Leisure, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
In addition to his work at the restaurant and on the competition barbecue circuit, Lilly also lends his expertise to Kingsford Charcoal as a national spokesperson, to The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. as a teacher of courses on barbecue mastery, and to the Seghesio Family Vineyards, located in Healdsburg, Calif., as a guest chef. In the summer of 2009, Lilly was named the Official Tour Pitmaster of the Keith Urban Escape Together World Tour through his work with tour sponsors, the makers of KC Masterpiece barbecue sauces and Kingsford charcoal.