I had a great opportunity a while back to attend The Business Of Barbecue – one of the premier BBQ classes available. It’s hosted by Mike Mills and his daughter Amy Mills at their 17th Street Restaurant in Murphysboro IL.

Mike Mills talking BBQ and showing us the behind the scenes of a BBQ Business

This isn’t your average competition BBQ class; it’s purpose is to give you a detail look into what it takes to run a successful BBQ Business whether it’s restaurant, catering, vending, or whatever your business might be. Mike and Amy cover everything.

Peace, Love & Barbecue

The event started with a welcome reception at the 17th Street Marion, IL location. There we were greeted by Mike and Amy and had the opportunity to meet all of the attendees. Right away both Mike and Amy made you feel like old friends. It’s a real up-close and personal class and even though we were talking business the entire time, the atmosphere was relaxed. I never once felt uncomfortable asking the simplest of questions.

Mike Mills showing us how he cooks and prepares BBQ Butts for his restaurants and catering jobs

Over the course of two days we toured both restaurants front to back and participated in daily routines. It was a first hand experience, seeing what it takes to run a successful business and picking up on cost and time saving techniques that you just can’t learn on your own.

17th Street Bar & Grill

Half of the class was dedicated to seminars covering topics from restaurant management, branding, marketing, catering & vending, and one on one question/answering. Just getting to hear Mike share his numerous stories and adventures is worth the price of admission.

And I can’t fail to mention the food. Not only did we learn from the top BBQ mind in the business but we also ate until our bellies were full.

Eating Good at Business of Barbecue

At the reception dinner we grazed over some of 17 th Street’s finest catering offerings. A couple of items that stood out were the Pulled Pork egg rolls and a BBQ Sauce Fountain. Yes I said sauce fountain. It was pretty cool.

BBQ Sauce Fountain

We also dined on Pork Steak which is a local favorite and a Mason Jar BBQ Sunday made with pulled pork and smoked beef brisket.

Mason Jar BBQ Sunday

One other creation that I have to mention was fresh fried pork skins. They’re made by rendering small squares of pork butt skin over low heat until crispy. Seasoned with a little of Mike’s Magic Dust and they melt in your mouth. This was something to write home about!

fresh fried pork skins

Mike, Amy, and the entire staff of 17th Street BBQ really roll out the red carpet for their friends, and if you ever get the opportunity to attend one of OnCue’s seminars I highly recommend it. Not only are you going to learn everything you need to know to improve your BBQ Business, but you be able to meet and network with like-minded BBQ folks.

PLUS… I got my favorite BBQ book… “Peace, Love and Barbecue”… autographed by The Legend himself.

I’m ready to go back!

If you want it, here is the website to check it out… http://www.nowoncue.com/

Malcom Reed
Killer Hogs BBQ Cooking Team
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About the Author

I am Malcom Reed and my brother, Waylon, and I are the Killer Hogs competition bbq team. Here at HowtoBBQright.com, I want to give you my secrets, methods and techniques you need to produce competition-quality BBQ. I want to give enough detail for BBQ novices, but still offer information that is useful for the professional BBQ cooks. I only focus on REAL bbq. And I take it seriously.

3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. David S April 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm -

    I saw Amy promoting this course on Twitter and wished I had been able to attend. It sounds like the course was as good as advertised.

  2. Administrator April 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm -

    it was!

  3. juanita parks September 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm -

    Do you offer classes on making and marketing bbq sauces

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