Core Crew - meat the pro pitmasters:

hardcore carnivore core crew
FAT BOYS BBQ. This father & son team out of Temple, TX are no strangers to the award stage, and their trophy cabinet shows it. Danny Mikes cooked competitively for over 15 years, winning almost every major cook off in the United States, including The American Royal Open BBQ world championship in 1997, The Jack Daniels Invitational in 1998, along with many other national and Texas state championships. He retired from competition in 2001 to open his own restaurant. In 2013 his son Corey coaxed him back into competing and they have been full force since then. Fat Boys BBQ have earned perfect scores in all four meats judged in KCBS, multiple Grand Championships and Reserve Grand Championships along with a trip to the prestigious King of the Smoker in 2017 where the best pitmasters in the world face off each year. They used Hardcore Carnivore rubs to earn their first place Chicken and Ribs wins at The American Royal.
BURNT BEAN CO.  Self-taught pitmaster Ernest Servantes of Burnt Bean Co. is a 40-time Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion - one of those GC’s being from the 2013 San Antonio Rodeo Cook-off! Alongside his grand titles, Ernest has also collected 100’s of top ten awards during his 10 years in the competition circuit. Ernest has appeared on BBQ Pitmasters, BBQ Pitmaster All Stars, BBQ Pit Wars and won a special BBQ edition of Chopped.

STORTH OAKS SMOKERS. Tim and Kelly Brittain are a husband and wife combo who hail from New Zealand where they have an Angus Cattle Stud. Tim is also an ABA, KCBS and SCA certified judge. They were one of the earliest adopters of low and slow BBQ in the Australia/New Zealand region, but joined the competitive barbecue world in early 2017. They have competed in two Meatstock events and the Jack Daniels National BBQ series 2017/2018 throughout New Zealand, winning Grand Champion in Christchurch along with many calls through the series, culminating in winning Reserve Grand Champion for 2018. Tim & Kelly love using Hardcore Carnivore Rubs in competitions and at home, especially Red and Amplify which they say is amazing on Chicken and Ribs.

GRILLIN WITH DAD. Maciek Zurawski was the first Core Crew influencer, chosen for the exceptional photography of his delicious recipes. Maciek is a backyard grill guy who cooks for family and friends, but has always held a passion for cooking. Originally from Poland, he had his first taste of American BBQ at age 10 when he moved to the States, and was immediately hooked. In 2017 he received a Big Green Egg from his wife for Fathers Day and decided to share his cooks on Instagram. And so @Grillin_with_dad was born. Maciek documents what he cooks in the hopes to inspire others to get out there and fire up their grills! His favorite thing to cook are pork ribs, steaks and beef brisket, and his favorite rub is HC Black.

NATURAL BORN GRILLERS have been competing on the Australian BBQ circuit since 2016, comprising of 2 couples Andrew and Pam, and Dean and Dana. Finishing up their first year in 16th place overall was a proud achievement, however 2017 was a breakout year with the team winning multiple first place trophies across all categories, their first Grand Championship and finishing 3rd on the national Australian leaderboard, cementing themslves as a team to beat. Though the team has only participated in four competitions in 2018, they received call ups in all of them including GC and RGC. With over 18 call ups and 7 first place category wins, Natural Born Grillers are one of the most winningest teams in Australian competition barbecue.

MANNING VALLEY NATURAL SMOKERS hail from the small NSW regional town of Wingham. This team of passionate self-taught pitmasters began competing on the Australian BBQ circuit in 2016 and comprises of of Grant, Fiona & Grace Coleman, Ashley Turner, Stephen Cooke and Mark Bateman. MVNS hold an impressive number of Grand Championships and RGCs, but one of their proudest accomplishments came in 2018 when they represented Australia at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo World Championship BBQ Contest in the USA. MVNS took out 2nd place in Brisket (using Aussie Angus Beef from their local processing facility, Wingham Beef Exports, which Grant is the general manger!) and finished an outstanding 13th place overall. The team has also earned the highest championship score on the Australasian BBQ Alliance) leader board, with a massive cumulative 1027 points. Manning Valley Natural Smokers are one of the most ‘winningest’ and highest ranked teams in 2018 Australian competitions series so far. With the magnificent Hardcore Carnivore rubs, their competition proteins have taken another level in both taste and presentation, and the results speak for themselves.

SMOKE TALES BBQ. SmokeTales BBQ is a competition cook team based in St. Augustine, FL led by Jimmy and Lauren Ragland.  They have a passion for cooking with fire, with roots dating back to their college days and slow smoking BBQ with friends.  After jumping into the pro competition world, this addicting hobby has led to over 25 category walks in the Florida BBQ and Steak Cookoff Associations.  In 2018 the team qualified for the SCA World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, where both Jimmy and Lauren received Top 10 calls.  Hardcore Carnivore Black has been in Lauren’s SCA arsenal since day one and is definitely a competitive edge, especially at the inaugural Steak Showdown at The Shed where she won Grand Champion.  When they aren’t competing, SmokeTales is back porch grilling - a favorite is chicken wings with HC Amplify and HC Red.