Chris Lilly

Decatur, AL
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
Chris Lilly

Chris Lilly is one of America’s best-known barbecue pitmasters. In 1992, Lilly began working for the famous Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurant in Decatur, AL. He’s also head chef of their award-winning Competition Cooking Team, winner of 15 World BBQ Championships including four Memphis in May Grand Championships. Lilly is now executive chef, and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.

Lilly is a 2016 inductee into the Barbecue Hall of Fame. He served twice as guest chef of the James Beard Foundation and an instructor for Pork Summit at Culinary Institute of America in Napa. Lilly lends his expertise to Kingsford Charcoal as their national spokesperson. His private catering jobs include work for companies like Nissan, NASCAR and Ritz Carlton.

Accolades & Publications

  • BBQ Hall of Fame – Inductee (2016)
  • Memphis In May World Championship BBQ Cook-off – Grand Champion (2000, 2003, 2011, 2014)
  • Fire & Smoke: A Pitmaster’s Secrets (Clarkson Potter, 2014);
  • 15 World Barbecue Championships (Pork, Brisket, Ribs, Chicken)
  • King of the Smokers Grand Champion (2012)
  • International Jamaican BBQ Cook-Off – Champion (2012)
  • National Pork Board – Celebrated Chef
  • National Barbecue Association – Book of the Year (Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book, 2009)
  • Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint (Clarkson Potter, 2009)
  • American Royal Invitational – Grand Champion (2004)


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