YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) — Pitmaster Erica Roby of Yellow Springs is making a big name for herself in the barbeque community.
Roby started out as an attorney but realized that wasn’t what she wanted to do.
“I wasn’t feeling fulfilled, there was a gnawing little voice inside of me that was just like ‘OK this is OK, but there is something that can be great.’ But I didn’t know what it was,” said Roby.
After having her son, Roby was placed on maternity leave and spent many hours talking to her father on the phone. Through their conversations, Roby became inspired to cook barbeque as her father had dreams of owning a barbeque restaurant or a food truck. Roby has started making those dreams a reality.
Roby began taking barbeque classes and watching competitions on TV. After coming up with the name “Blue Smoke Blaire,” she started participating in competitions and created her Instagram. Roby soon found herself invited onto Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl” where she was named “Master of ‘Que.” That competition was a milestone in Roby’s cooking career that gave her the confidence she has today.
“I really started getting my confidence, and I started realizing ‘You got yourself here, believe in yourself. Everything that you’ve done up to this point, your journey, you’re standing here because of you.'” said Roby.
Following the Food Network show, Roby was invited to “Memphis in May,” the World Championships of competition barbeque.
Competing under the name “Blue Smoke Blaire,” Roby and her team tied for first in brisket with a perfect score and won fourth in ribs.
Going under the name “Blue Smoke Blaire Roadside,” Roby and her father operate barbeque pop-ups all over the Dayton area. They have plans to open a brick-and-mortar store sometime in the coming year.
For more information on Blue Smoke Blaire or for contact information, click here.