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About Whiteford's Journey

Matthew Whiteford, award-winning barbecue connoisseur, knows how to make taste buds sizzle with his mouthwatering barbecue. Whiteford is the owner of Whiteford’s Gourmet Food’s and Love Your BBQ (, along with a long list of accolades and awards from across the United States and beyond our borders winning 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP with Whiteford’s Spicy Bloody Mary Mix®.

Whiteford is a team member of the Clark Kent Super Smokers Competition BBQ Team and a Jim Beam sponsored National Competition Barbecue Cook along with being a Certified Kansas City Barbecue Society Judge (KCBS). Through the aggressive competitions, Whiteford and team are decorated with hundreds of awards including impressive showings at the American Royal World Barbecue Championship. Includes, top twenty calls in meat categories, Chicken – Ribs –Pork & Brisket and two Reserve Grand Champions overall on side dish categories including Beans, Dessert and Vegetable. Whiteford’s BBQ Sauces placed numerous top 20 accolades with his Olde 70 Southern Style BBQ Sauce winning second place three times in Vinegar Based category. In total, an impressive group of +/-640 world class teams competes at the royal.
Whiteford is the esteemed Barbecue Pit Master at The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa ( on the shores of Geneva Lake, in Fontana WI. His delicious barbecue is featured year round at their Waterfront Restaurant.

But what is a “Pit Master” exactly? Good question. A Pit Master is one who operates a barbecue pit and sometimes yields respect for someone who is skilled at barbecuing. To that, Matthew can tell by sight, sound, smell and touch if his smoker is running too hot or cold, when it needs fuel, when to add wood, when to add sauce, and when the meat is ready.

Whiteford initially thought of barbecuing and competitions as a hobby. Little did he know that his hobby would turn into a career while he was celebrating his birthday and the owner of The Abbey Resort, Cary Kerger, tasted his barbecue in 2009! Finding Whiteford’s barbecue absolutely delicious, Kerger asked Whiteford to partner with the property leading to the development of his barbecue brand and became Pit Master at The Abbey Resort. After meeting with the executive and culinary team at The Abbey, Whiteford collaborated on the menu and packaging his barbecue products for their foodservice. From there, the concept was born; Whiteford’s barbecue business is booming, distributed by Performance Food Service for Restaurant applications, company distribution to hundreds of retail outlets, launched into National Mail Order with the prestigious Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats Nueske’s is best known for having the best Bacon in the world and now the best barbecue to ship to your door step. Our missing link is now complete, partnering with The BBQ Authority to fulfill National Mail Order of all retail products.

Today, Matthew lives in Geneva, IL, expanding the reaches of his empire one mouth at a time.