Pitmaster at Helen's Bar-B-Q (address and info)
When Helen first got into the barbecue industry 30 years ago, she had no idea it'd become her livelihood, but she's loved every minute of it. Before she had a restaurant bearing her name, Helen spent 10 years learning the trade, then stepped away from the barbecue world. But when a new owner took over and needed someone with expertise on the pit, she came back to take charge.
That was 18 years ago, and ever since she's been cooking things the old-fashioned way: all hickory and oak, no nonsense. Pulled pork, ribs, the seldom-seen smoked bologna, and the occasional smoked chicken round out the menu. Unlike many barbecue operations, Helen's family isn't a big part of the restaurant, but her daughter will come in to help if she really needs her (but not without complaining about her hair smelling like smoke).