Barbecue life coach Gary Wiviott is a man with very strong opinions about the mingling of meat, wood and fire. A connoisseur of conviviality, Wiviott’s road to barbecue mastery started with the simple desire to entertain and feed. More than 20 years have passed since his wife gave him the gift of a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker, and in that time Wiviott has turned a hobby into religion, converting the backyard barbecue-challenged masses into disciples skilled in the art of smoking meat. With this release of his book, “Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons” (Running Press, 2009) — co-authored with the talented, stupendously linear food writer, Colleen Rush — Wiviott turned his popular online barbecue tutorial into one of the most authoritative and intuitive step-by-step guides to learning how to make barbecue.


Wiviott is currently the pitmaster of Barn & Company in Chicago and sits on the board of directors for the Illinois Barbecue Alliance. He is the co-founder of the Windy City Barbecue Classic and an active voice in the national barbecue scene, including and the Society for the Preservation of Traditional Barbecue. Wiviott has appeared on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and in local and national publications ranging from the Chicago Tribue to Forbes to Rachel Ray Magazine. He is also deeply involved in the Chicago food community (he was one of the founders of, the Chicago-based culinary chat site).