Famous Dave’s of America, Inc. recently announced the company’s founder, “Famous Dave” Anderson was named to the 2017 Barbecue Hall of Fame by the American Royal Association. American Royal held the formal induction ceremony at Kansas Speedway over Labor Day weekend.

Each year, three individuals are awarded the prestigious honor and are recognized by the Barbecue Hall of Fame for their significant contributions to the barbecue community and demonstration of achievement in barbecue excellence. This year, “Famous Dave” Anderson was honored along with Jeff Stehney and Melissa Cookston.

“The impact “Famous Dave” Anderson has had on me, my family, all our Famous Dave’s fans and customers in Phoenix, our employees and the BBQ Community across our great country, is immense and immeasurable,” said John Erlandson, franchise owner of the four Valley Famous Dave’s locations in Arizona.Dave’s tireless work-ethic and drive to never settle at anything he does, his passion to help others and ‘make everyone happy,’ along with his creative genius to accomplish all that he’s done in his life, especially coming from such humble beginnings, is an inspiration for all of us.”

Founder Dave Anderson said, “People consistently ask how I got involved in barbecue, and I always answer that I was born into barbecue. My dad, a Choctaw Indian from Isabel, Okla., loved his southern home cooking and his real pit barbecue done the ‘old school way’ of smoke and meat, smoldered over live burning embers. I’ve never thought of what I do as a business, but a way of life. Barbecue has been my life’s passion and there’s nothing more I love than making people happy with the foods I grew up with and that is what makes me happy in life! Being told that my peers had nominated me to be inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame® at the American Royal is humbling, amazing, and incredible for a kid that grew up with nothing more than a dream and a willingness to work hard… proving nothing is impossible!” 

In 1994, Famous Dave Anderson opened The Original Famous Dave’s located on the shores of Big Round Lake in Hayward, Wis. By the end of that first summer, Dave was serving as many as 6,000 meals a week in a town of only 2,000 people. Dave opened his second restaurant in Minneapolis, Minn., and was quickly recognized as “One of the Hottest Concepts in America Award” by The National Restaurant Association in 2002 and most recently “America’s Best Loved BBQ Joint” (Nation’s Restaurant News March 2013).

Anderson is one of the most award-winning BBQ Grillmasters around, and has become known as ‘America’s Rib King’. His barbecue is highly regarded as the best in America winning over 780 local and national honors including Best of Class Awards, Blue Ribbons, People’s Choice, Critic’s Choice and First Place awards including: Best Ribs in America, Best BBQ Sauce in America, Best BBQ Restaurant in America, Best Cornbread, and Best Chicken.

Anderson continues to develop new and amazing rib recipes and tasty new barbecue sauces, which are featured in two award-winning cookbooks Rib-O-Licious and Famous Dave’s Barbecue Party Cookbook. Both books won “Best Barbecue/Grill Cookbooks in America” by the National Barbecue Association. The sale of these books has generated over $1 million in profit, which Anderson and his wife Kathy have generously donated to organizations including LifeSkills and CareerSkills for work with at-risk Native Youth.