According to Ron Shewchuk, "you're not really serious about barbecue until you've slept next to your cooker and used a bag of charcoal as a pillow."

Ron is never far away from a grill or a smoker, whether he's teaching cooking classes, appearing as a guest chef on TV, writing articles for food publications, or barbecuing up a storm on the competitive circuit.

Ron isn't just a barbecue enthusiast - he's Canada's leading proponent of traditional, southern-style barbecue. As chief cook of Rockin' Ronnie's Butt Shredders, he's led his team to more competition victories than any Canadian team in the history of championship barbecue.

The Butt Shredders are two-time Alberta Champions and have competed in the "World Series of Barbecue," the American Royal Invitational in Kansas City, and the most prestigious barbecue contest in the world, the Jack Daniel's Invitational World Barbecue Championship in Lynchberg, Tenessee on the grounds of the famous distillery. Ron and his team made barbecue history in 2001 when they became the only Canadian team to ever win a U.S.-based barbecue competition in a stunning upset at the Oregon State Open Barbecue Championship.

"For me, barbecue is not just a pastime, it's a lifestyle," says Ron. "Barbecue at its best is a spiritual experience, and I like to think of what I do as high ceremonial cooking." In Ron's first cookbook, Barbecue Secrets (Whitecap Books), he shares recipes, tips and tricks he's picked up in a lifetime of outdoor cooking and documents the history, tools, techniques and culture of championship grilling and barbecue.

Ron Shewchuk was born in Edmonton, Alberta, trained as a journalist at Carleton University in Ottawa and now lives with his wife Kate and children, Zoe and Jake, in North Vancouver, British Columbia. When he isn't in his back yard tending something on the grill, he's a speechwriter and communications consultant.

DATE OF BIRTH: Dec. 23, 1957

PLACE OF BIRTH: Edmonton, Alberta


EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Speechwriter and Communications Consultant


Planking Secrets: How to Grill with Wooden Planks for Unbeatable Barbecue Flavor (Whitecap, 2006).

Barbecue Secrets: Recipes, Tips and Tricks From a Barbecue Champion (Whitecap Books, 2004)

Employee Communication: The Comprehensive Manual for People Who Communicate with Today's Employees, co-author (Ragan Communications, 1996)

Alberta: Blue Skies and Golden Opportunities, co-author (American Historical Press, 1988)

[BCBW 2006] "Cookbook"