Barbecue = Food + Family + Love

About Amy Mills

Amy Mills was raised on smoke, sauce, and Magic Dust®. Owner of the renowned barbecue destination, 17th Street Barbecue, she’s the industry’s go-to girl for all things barbecue. As the recipient of the Barbecue Heroine prize and consistently named a leader in her industry, it’s Amy’s mission to spread the gospel of barbecue.

Amy is considered a complete authority on barbecue and the business that surrounds it.  She runs the only barbecue business consultancy in the world, OnCue Consulting, offering seminars and training focused on the culinary and business techniques behind great barbecue. She’s a featured judge on various barbecue shows such as Food Network’s BBQ Brawl, Firemasters, CHOPPED, Best in Smoke, Kingsford Invitational, and Smoked, as well as co-star of the Mills Family’s own digital series, Peace, Love, and Barbecue.

Co-authored with her dad, Mike Mills, affectionately known as “The Legend” in the world of barbecue, her cookbook Peace, Love, and Barbecue is considered a classic in the genre, was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award, and won the National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence. Their second book, Praise the Lard, was published in May 2017.

17th Street Barbecue is headquartered in Murphysboro, Illinois, with an outpost in the neighboring town of Marion. Influenced by her business, Murphysboro was proclaimed the “Barbecue Capital of Illinois” by the State Legislature in 2014. The Factory at 17th Street, their barbecue sauce co-packing facility launched in 2021. Faye, a coffee/café/gourmet provisions shop opened in 2022.

Barbecue isn’t just a way to cook; it’s Mills’ and 17th Street Barbecue’s way of life.  In the late Mike Mills’ own words, “Life’s too short for a half-rack.”

To arrange an interview or for media queries, please call Robin Insley Associates at 212-849-8256.

About Mike Mills (1941-2020)

In the world of barbecue, champion pitmaster Mike Mills was affectionately known as “The Legend.” He presided over the pits at his nationally acclaimed 17th Street Barbecue barbecue restaurants in Southern Illinois.

In the early 1990s, he was co-captain of the Apple City Barbecue team, one of the most celebrated teams ever on the circuit. He was a four-time World Champion and three-time Grand World Champion at Memphis in May, otherwise known as the Super Bowl of Swine. He was also the 1992 Grand Champion of the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest and he won the Jack Daniel’s Sauce Contest that year as well.

Mike was the barbecue guru at and a partner in Blue Smoke restaurant in New York City. He was a founding partner in Memphis Championship Barbecue in Las Vegas. His book, Peace, Love, and Barbecue was nominated for a 2006 James Beard Foundation award and received the 2006 National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence. In October 2008 he was honored with the Pioneer of Barbecue award at the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest. Mike was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2010.

Through the years, here's what we've learned:

Barbecue soothes the soul.

It's simple in philosophy and rich in tradition.

It's an art and a craft, a love and a passion.

It's provided us with a life full of friendship and love.

Here's more history and a few fun facts, if you're interested in that sort of thing:

  • Owner of four nationally acclaimed barbecue joints - two 17th Street Barbecue restaurants in Southern Illinois and two Memphis Championship Barbecue restaurants in Las Vegas. Mike's restaurants operate under different names - but it's all Mike Mills' barbecue.
  • Mike is the only barbecuer with top-security clearance to board Air Force One and he's the only barbecuer who's been featured in Vogue magazine four times!
  • Named Best Ribs in America by Bon Appétit magazine (September 2007) and featured on the Food Network special Bon Appétit Picks the Best.
  • Restaurants & Institutions (September 2007) magazine called Mike America's most-revered barbecue restaurateur.
  • For 13 years, Mike was the only three-time Grand World Champion at Memphis in May, otherwise known as the Super Bowl of Swine. His record was tied in 2007.