Paul Kirk, a.k.a. the Baron of Barbecue, is the esteemed recipient of many of the barbecuing world's highest honors and has won over 400 cooking and barbecue awards, including seven World Championships. He was the champion of the American Royal Open (the world's largest barbecue contest), The American Royal Invitational, The Jack Daniel's Invitational, The World Brisket Championship, and BarbeQlossal - The World Pork Championship. Kirk was dubbed '' The Baron of Barbecue'' in 1981 by Dick Mais, the '' King of Barbecue.'' He's held the title ever since. He has been inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Flame and honored as Chef of the Year by his peers in the American Culinary Federation, Greater Kansas City Chef's Association. Kirk's other distinguished titles include Ph.B. (Doctor of Barbecue or Philosopher of Barbecue), and Ambassador of Barbecue, Order of the Magic Mop. Kirk has traveled the world to teach barbecue in the Baron's School of Pitmasters. The awards his students have won include the American Royal Open, The Jack Daniel's Invitational, The Kansas State Championship, The North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and British Columbia Barbecue Championships, and the K.C.B.S. Championship. He has trained barbecue restaurant staff for restaurants around the country and his restaurant, R.U.B. (Righteous Urban Barbecue), opened in New York City in 2005 to immediate acclaim. A second R.U.B. location opened in Las Vegas in 2008. He has appeared on several national TV shows including Today, CBS' The Morning Show, and Talk Soup and has written for the National Barbecue News, Fine Cooking, and Chile Pepper magazine. Kirk is the author of three barbecue cookbooks. He lives in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.