Variety is the spice of life! Get to know GrillGirl contributors a little better by reading their bios below. If you would like to contribute to, please drop me a line at with article ideas.

Eddie Medlin, Grill Girl’s Dad, Also known as “Tropical Storm Eddie”:

Eddie Medlin Traeger

Eddie, aka “Grill Girl’s Dad” on his Traeger Pellet Grill.

I was born in Elkin, NC and my earliest and fondest memories were my dad taking me to Lexington, NC to Stamey’s original restaurant that opened in 1953 and getting me a chopped BBQ sandwich and a Cheer wine soft drink.

My journey from an occasional “half ass back yard gas grill guy” to a BBQ Pitmaster began when Robyn got me Steven Raichlen’s “How to Grill” cookbook back in 2001… Everything changed after that… Fast forward 14 years and I am a certified SCBBQA (South Carolina BBQ Association) Judge and started the North South Smokers Competition BBQ Team in South Carolina. We walked the stage on our first competition and we continue to improve every competition!

Robyn and I also started competing at Memphis I May, aka the “Superbowl of Swine” about 5 years ago through an introduction with Robyn’s blog and the Too Sauced to Pork team. We have been going to Memphis in May as our annual “father daughter bonding trip” ever since…

This is an experience that I believe we will always treasure and have been fortunate to meet the most Successful BBQ Pit Masters who we now call family. What is about barbecue that makes it more enjoyable to talk about than it is to eat it? For me it is the remembrances associated with my North Carolina barbecue heritage, the folks I have met at all the BBQ joints across America and the many BBQ friends I have met along the way at the many BBQ competitions and those that shared their Pit Master secrets with me to make me a better BBQ cook. I hope I have helped some of them on their BBQ journey as well.

Paul Sidoriak; Big Green Egg Enthusiast and author of the site Grilling Montana:

Paul moved to Montana in 1996 to shake off the cobwebs of college and further pursue his passion for fly-fishing. After a few years working in the ski industry, he worked for a variety of food and beverage companies like Red Bull North America, Hostess Brands, and Nestle which made him a road warrior and put him in a hotel most week nights.

On weekends, he craved a home cooked meal and this fueled his passion for grilling. When his old gasser finally rusted thru, he got a Big Green Egg and began sharing his culinary successes and failures on his website Grilling Montana.

Paul likes to embrace grilled dishes that are different and thought provoking like grilled peaches, onion rings, and french toast mostly done over hardwood lump charcoal. You can check out what he has been grilling at Grilling Montana and would be honored if you follow him on Facebook.

Paul Sidoriak shares his culinary successes and failures on his site Grilling Montana.

Jesse Black: temperature expert, writer and cook extraordinaire.

Jesse Black; Chef and Temperature Expert:

From the time I could walk I was in the kitchen. When I was four I taught my aunt how to make jello, at 11 I was working (under the radar) for my dad in the family restaurant and by the time I was 24, I was the General Manager of a 72-year-old Mexican restaurant in the heart of San Antonio, TX.

A few years later I followed my wife to Utah where I became the Culinary Manager for a high-volume Italian restaurant chain. While working full-time in the kitchen I was also cracking the books at Utah Valley University. Most people who go to school for as long as I did are called doctors, but my passion was in something altogether different. I graduated with a BS in Communications (emphasis in Public Relations) and moved out of the restaurant and into the temperature biz.

My background in restaurants, coupled with a passion for outdoor cooking, landed me with ThermoWorks – a company specializing in professional temperature tools, and home of the Super-Fast Thermapen. There I am the Public Relations guru and Social Media magnate.

When I’m not slingin’ thermometers, I’m at home hanging out with my wife and three kids. I try to cook outside at least once a week (even in the dead of winter) and experiment with new recipes and ingredients as much as I can; and when I’m not cooking, I’m writing about cooking. Go figure!”

Dillon Black- Competition BBQ Buff from “Bubba and Son BBQ”, Communications Grad and Newest Contributor to

“In my family we have always gathered for celebrations around food, but more specifically BBQ! My father, a 20 year veteran of competition BBQ, and myself started our own competition BBQ team in the summer of 2007 called Bubba & Son BBQ. In the BBQ world my father has always been called Bubba (we are still trying to figure out why…) and you can guess the rest.

I am the 2012 graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Communications and am working as a salesman for my father’s small distribution business. I currently reside in Hickory, NC, with my girlfriend of five years, Amy and our yorkiepoo, Rosco and cat, Casper- whom all enjoy their jobs as taste-testers.

You can follow our competition team on facebook ( If we are going to be near a town near you, I would love to meet and talk with you more about BBQ or anything really! Feel free to email me with blog ideas or questions at

Dillon Black, newest contributor

Michelle Lara: Foodie, Writer and Newest Contributor to

Michelle Lara is a foodie, writer and newest contributor to

I’m a Brooklyn native who now lives in South Florida with my husband and our two children. I started my professional career in fashion merchandising and production in New York.

In 2009, when we moved to South Florida I got a job at The Palm Beach Post as a web producer for their entertainment site and caught the writing bug. While at The Palm Beach Post I chased gourmet food trucks, interviewed James Beard award winning chefs and profiled local chefs and foodies including Grill Girrl, Robyn Medlin.

I was a foodie before that was an officially coined term. While I’m nowhere near chef status I am adventurous in the kitchen and have never met an empanada I didn’t love.

You can follow Michelle on her site: and also on Facebook andTwitter

Neil Gallagher- Founder & Pitmaster, Too Sauced To Pork BBQ Team:

Neil Gallagher grew up in New Orleans and Memphis and knows good food and good BBQ! He is the newest contributor to sharing his knowledge of Grilling and BBQ as the founder and Pitmaster of the Too Sauced To Pork BBQ team that competes at “Memphis in May” also known as “The Superbowl of Swine”.

Neil Gallagher, founder and Pitmaster of the Too Sauced To Pork BBQ Team.

Blake Marcum: Certified BBQ Judge and Team Member of Sweet Swine o’ Mine Championship BBQ Team :

Blake Marcum, BBQ judge and Sweet Swine O’ Mine Championship BBQ team member.

Blake Marcum is an eight year competition BBQ competitor who has been a certified MBN judge for one year. This native born Southerner from Memphis, TN believes that Memphis BBQ is the only way to do BBQ right, but appreciates the styles that have been made popular in other parts of the country. His motto on all things Q is simple: “Low and slow, sweet with heat, muddy like the Mississippi River… now THAT is BBQ!”His passion for the creativity and his competitive nature have been the driving force behind the success he had as co-captain of the Too Sauced To Pork BBQ team for 7 years. He recently joined the Sweet Swine O’ Mine Championship BBQ team, who were the 2009 Memphis in May Grand Champions. Blake plans to actively compete and judge throughout the year and always reminds people of the reason he does it: “The friends I make at every competition and the feeling of family among competitors is truly something to cherish and enjoy. It’s why I keep coming back for more.”

Eric Chester MBN Judge, Foodie, Grill Master for Too Sauced To Pork BBQ Team:

In the world of BBQ the saying goes don’t trust a skinny cook…for me that just isn’t true. Born and raised in Selmer, TN I learned the art of BBQ by helping my father with the local cooks on a cinder block pit. When I moved to Memphis for college, friends often called on me to man the grill during parties. I use the same concepts I learned from my dad when coming up with different takes on a dish. When asked what is on it he often replied, “I just drug it through the kitchen.” I take that concept to heart and look at everything in the kitchen as a potential ingredient. I have become the team’s Sous Chef…I’m always bouncing around asking if anyone needs help with their turn -in. At the end of the day, for me, it’s the love of creating that keeps me cooking and enjoying food.

Danny Zellers and Eric Chester- Too Sauced To Pork Team Members, excellent cooks, and GrillGrrrl contributors.

Blake Daniels, Master Home Brewer.

Blake Daniels is a native of Upstate NY that caught the homebrewing bug a few years ago

Over the years, his little “hobby” has evolved into a full-on obsession and taken over the family’s garage (to the dismay of his wife and children). Although he doesn’t yet have a wall full of awards and medals, he brews some great beer that is loved by his thirsty crew of family and friends.

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