Hayward Harris, Jr., The Rib Doctor®, is a well-known pit master who has the prescription for delicious, mouthwatering barbecue. He has been “doctoring” and treating meat with his own style of incredible BBQ finesse since 1990.
Tall in stature and often wearing his signature fedora, The Rib Doctor® is a well-recognized brand in the world of barbecue. More importantly, the flavorful food he cooks stands out on the grill and tantalizes tastebuds nationwide. In fact, many of his fans have called The Rib Doctor’s barbecue the best they’ve ever tasted.
Hayward, a Compton, California native with Florida/Mississippi roots, started barbecuing at the age of 5. Like any well-respected doctor, one has to complete specialized training (residency) under the tutelage of great mentors. Although Hayward is mostly self-taught, he has been trained not only by his aunt who owned a BBQ restaurant, but he took classes from champion pit masters like Paul Kirk, the Kansas City Baron of BBQ.
Over the years, he established a successful catering business, which later led to him being personally asked to serve as a barbecue competition judge. Hayward is a certified Kansas City Barbecue Society Master, Memphis Barbecue Network, and International Barbeque Cookers Association BBQ judge. He also received certifications to judge SCA steak cookoffs and EAT World Food Championships. Since 1991 Hayward has judged over 150 BBQ competitions.
With years of experience evaluating grilled and smoked meats, The Rib Doctor naturally entered barbeque contests and captivated judges. He has cooked in more than 100 BBQ competitions and won numerous prestigious awards, including Reserve Championship honors, First Place Chicken in the National Finals in the Tropicana Cook Off, “Best Pork” in California by the Southern California Barbeque Association and the National BBQ Association’s Award of Excellence and People’s Choice Award, to name a few.
As a founding member of the California BBQ Association, Harris has contributed to putting California on the barbecue map. In 2019, The Rib Doctor received the esteemed honor of being inducted into the California BBQ Association Hall of Fame.
An influential master of the grill, Hayward has appeared on TV, was a spokesperson on a commercial, and has been featured in Gourmet magazine and Advertising Age magazine.
Now, semi-retired, Harris devotes his time to marketing his national award-winning barbeque sauces.