Louie Mueller’s Barbecue has been proclaimed the Cathedral, the St. Peter’s and the Mecca of Texas barbecue. What began in an alley in 1949 in Taylor, Texas as a way to minimize spoilage from Louie Mueller’s fresh meat market, is today recognized as one of the Top 50 Barbecue Joints in the World by Texas Monthly, has received the distinction “America’s Classic” Award by the James Beard Foundation, and been awarded “America’s Best Barbecue” by CBS’ Early Show. At the helm of that success is Louie Mueller’s grandson, Wayne Mueller, a modern-day culinary alchemist who, like his father before him, takes base cuts of meat and turns them into black gold. “The pit that sits in the middle of our dining room harnesses 65 years of my family’s barbecue experience into a single great body of work that comes down to a simple formula: Beef + Pepper/Salt + Heat/Smoke + Time = the Black Gold of our signature Texas beef barbecue”, says Wayne. While barbecue is in his blood, Wayne’s path to the pit was not of the conventional apprentice. Although he began assisting his father before he could see into the pit at 8 years old, following high school Wayne left Taylor and sought a career in sports marketing. The stamina and strategy learned during his tenure working with organizations like the NBA, USTA, ATP, WNBA, WUSA, minor league baseball and the Arena Football League served as the perfect set-up for what was yet to come. In 2008, he returned to Taylor to take the reigns of Louie Mueller Barbecue from his father. Since then, Wayne and Louie Mueller Barbecue have been featured in press, television and major culinary events including the Food Network, Cooking Channel, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and deemed “Top 5 Pit Master in Texas” by Daniel Vaughn’s Prophets of Smoked Meat. It’s no wonder that Louie Mueller Barbecue is recognized as the fountainhead of Texas beef barbecue, and with it, Wayne as the steward of authentic Texas pit barbecue.