He’s a BBQ spokesmen, a parking lot chef, and a cookbook author who has quite a story to tell.
I met Ray Lampe at the American Royal Barbecue contest in 2003. Larry Mayes, another top competitor, said you gotta meet Dr. BBQ, his cooking classes are raising the bar for us competition cooks. Easy going, yet tenacious, Ray invited me to film him as he worked.
He’s somewhat a regular guy with a bulldog exterior. What makes him stand out – besides his goatee and flat top – is his ability to articulate in a down to earth manner. He’s got a story about so many different experiences. And considering how many miles he travels and people he meets every year, those begin to add up to more than just a lot.
While he was in town recently, Lynn and I rode along in his van. He added nearly another 100 miles to his odometer, and I had over an hours worth of dialogue on tape. We threw him some questions, and he talked. I wasn’t being lectured to, it was more like sitting around a campfire and listening to a storyteller. I began picturing in my mind the places he spoke of and people he met, and chuckled at his honesty. And these answers were all derived from a life devoted to bbq. It’s pretty amazing to think how something like food can create a new life.