John David Wheeler, Head Cook for the Natural Born Grillers BBQ Team, is one of the most award-winning BBQ cooks in the world. Among his many accomplishments, he’s a two-time winner of the overall Cooking Team of the Year award, winner of the World Grand Championship at Memphis in May, winner of three separate World Championships and over 75 Grand Championships, not to mention winning literally thousands of other awards.
As co-Pitmaster of the Memphis Barbecue Company, John and his co-partner Melissa Cookston own and operate one of the hottest BBQ restaurants in the country. Melissa is a wildly celebrated Pitmaster and multiple World Championship winner. Together, the two of them establish Memphis Barbecue Company as the only restaurant in the world to feature two World Championship Pitmasters at the helm.
John David Wheeler is also the first recipient of the Operation BBQ Relief Founder's Award. Operation BBQ Relief was founded in May, 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri, a community of about 50,000 residents. Volunteers of competition BBQ teams from eight states answered the need to help feed displaced families, Police, Fire, National Guard and emergency personnel.
Since May of 2011, Operation BBQ Relief has served over one Million meals in 20 states. Their funding comes from fundraisers, online merchandise sales and donations.
John David Wheeler is a special guest of the Yak Ales Perth Barbecue Festival in 2017.