2018 Featured Judge Bio


A veteran judge at The Jack and one of the most recognizable professional pitmasters in the world, Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe originally grew up in Chicago and has been cooking award winning barbeque since 1982.


In 2000, with decades of testing different cooking styles and experience in participating in BBQ cookoffs under his belt, Ray decided to take a leap, shifting his interest in barbecue from a serious hobby into a career. He quit the family trucking business, moved to Florida and began his career as Dr. BBQ, the outdoor cooking expert.


Today, Dr. BBQ is truly an original in the world of outdoor cooking, and he’s accomplished everything from winning national awards to writing nine cookbooks.


Dr. BBQ currently cohosts “Flavor” with Ian Beckles, a Saturday radio show on Tampa Bay’s largest radio station, THE BONE 102.5 FM, and will soon be stoking the fire on a new endeavor: restaurateur. With partners Suzanne and Roger Perry, Ray will bring a new breed of vibrant, dynamic, even progressive, smoke-basted meat to Dr. BBQ in St. Petersburg, Florida’s EDGE District in Fall 2018.


His many appearances on the Food Network and his 2014 induction into the BBQ Hall of Fame have officially branded his name in the barbecue and culinary world.


Ray also has a long history with the Jack Daniel’s World Barbecue Championship. Being a huge fan of the event, of Lynchburg, and of the whiskey, he has competed and/or judged the Jack Daniel’s World Barbecue Championship almost every year since 1998. In fact, he is a member of the Tennessee Squire Association, a society comprised of Jack Daniel’s enthusiasts. He is also a lifetime member and Certified Master Judge of The Kansas City Barbecue Society.