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RIP To "The Legend" Mike Mills

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    RIP To "The Legend" Mike Mills

    It is with an extremely heavy heart that we say goodbye to a true BBQ legend and my friend, Mike Mills.

    I will always cherish the time I was able to spend with Mike over the years, just kicking back and relaxing as he shared his vast BBQ knowledge. RIP, my friend.
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      Sad day. A true icon in the BBQ world.


        Oh dear, so very saddened to hear this...a great loss to us all, an my condolendces fer th loss of yer friend, Clint...


          Reading his book Peace, Love, and Barbeque really inspired and taught me so much. RIP Mike Mills.


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Great Book, I have it in th next room...

          Click image for larger version

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          I first met Barbecue Hall of Famer Mike Mills and his daughter Amy in October 2005 at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, TN. He was introduced to me as "The Legend." I knew of him because I read the book he and Amy wrote, "Peace, Love, and Barbecue", a James Beard nominee in 2006, and still a classic because it introduced the world to so many great pitmasters. With great photos by Amy. He died Tuesday morning 12/29 due to non-COVID issues.

          I admired and respected Amy, but I worshiped Mike. Mike started out in barbecue by smoking ribs in the parking lot of his bar in remote Murphysboro, IL in the far south of the state, near Kentucky on the south and Missouri on the west.

          Before long he formed the Apple City Barbecue team and proceeded to win the World Championship four times and Grand World Championship three times 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 said his unique "Original Barbecue Sauce" recipe was passed from his grandmother and that he learned how to barbecue from his father.

          Eventually the bar became a restaurant with a bar. He owned two restaurants at the time of his death, both named 17th St. Barbecue, one in Murphysboro and one in nearby Marion, IL. He is also a partner in two other BBQ joints including Blue Smoke in NYC.

          He helped launch the Big Apple Barbecue, a massive event in New York City, has appeared on national TV many times, and has conducted numerous seminars including an annual whole hog seminar. 17th St also organizes a massive barbecue competition every year.

          I attended one of his whole hog classes and like everything else Mills, it was done right. We saw each other almost every year at the National Barbecue Association meeting and always found time to have a few drinks together. I have reached out to him with questions several times and he was always open and candid, withholding nothing.

          Here's a quote from his book: "I never told either of my wives the recipe [for our secret family barbecue sauce]. Let me tell you, this didn't set well with either one of them. I have had it in my head, so it isn't written down anywhere.

          "My first marriage lasted only seven years, so keeping a secret wasn't too much of a problem, although Wife #1 wasn't amused. Marriage to Wife #2 lasted for only 27 years, so she didn't make the cut either. Now if we'd made it to 30 years, I might've broken down and spilled my guts. But she would've had to change her ways."

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          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Well written MH

          Barbecue losses one of the greats.



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