Chopped Grill Masters, Season 4: Meet the Grillers

Get to know the competitive barbecuers and chefs competing for a chance to win $50,000 in Season 4 of Chopped Grill Masters.

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Photo By: Jason DeCrow

Part 1: Andy Husbands — Boston, Massachusetts

Andy is the pit master/chef/owner of Tremont 647, which has been open for 20 years. He recently opened The Smoke Shop, an all-American BBQ restaurant at its core with some funky modern twists. Andy's also a member of a world champion BBQ team, the first non-Southern BBQ team to win the world championship. He loves the adventure and intensity that comes with competing.

Part 1: Craig Verhage — Cleveland, Mississippi

During the week Craig is a mild-mannered insurance agent, but when the weekend comes, he ties on his trusty bandana and transforms into the unbeatable BBQ ninja. Craig started grilling on the Ubon's BBQ of Yazoo team when he was 24 and they have become like family to him. He's been a fierce competitor on the BBQ circuit for almost two decades. In his free time, he's also an avid hunter.

Part 1: Laura "Lori" Frazee — Marion County, Florida

A real estate agent by day, Lori was looking for a new hobby, so she got into competition BBQ. She eventually opened Barn Goddess BBQ Food Truck, which is built for the competition circuit. She can cater up to 500 meals per day. She calls her food classy redneck cuisine! A teacher once told her "girls don't grill," which has been a huge motivator for her to prove she sure can.

Part 1: Megan Day — Kansas City, Missouri

Megan began her career in PR, but after her husband started Burnt Fingers BBQ, she quit the corporate world and joined him on the BBQ competition circuit. The pair have won 15 state championships. Megan also runs BBQ Addicts LLC, which sells rubs, seasonings, sauces and more. Because BBQ is a male-dominated world, Megan wants to prove that she is just as strong as any guy in the circuit.

Part 2: Jeff "Rhino" Bannister — Greenville, South Carolina

Cooking was always a part of life where Jeff grew up. He barbecued his first whole pig at 14 with his dad. After college, Jeff served as an army medic, then became a state trooper, and later started a legal services company, which he sold so that he could follow his passion for cooking. His new venture, Bovinoche, is a roasting event that's all about the wow factor in that they cook whole animals.

Part 2: Joe Johnson — Los Angeles, California

Joe worked his way up from a washing dishes to eventually running a kitchen by the age of 19. He went on to attend Le Cordon Bleu. He is currently the chef de cuisine at Charcoal Venice, where he works with fire every day, knowing exactly how to bring out the truest flavor in every ingredient. On the side, Joe runs an apron line with his friend, and they hope to eventually expand the business.

Part 2: Rochelle "Ro" Daniel — Scottsdale, Arizona

Rochelle started cooking at the age of 8, and decided then she wanted to cook professionally. After high school, she went straight to culinary school. She is currently the executive chef at Fat Ox, where they cook modern takes on authentic Italian recipes. About 80 percent of the menu is grilled. To get away from fine dining, Rochelle started doing BBQ competitions with her team, The Smoke Junkies.

Part 2: Richard Fergola — Gardner, Kansas

After retiring from coaching wrestling, Richard needed something to keep himself busy, so he got into cooking, and eventually founded Fergolicious BBQ, a team that travels the competition circuit. For only having been around four years, his team has ranked in the top 75 in the country. In addition to competing, he enjoys teaching people how to become masters of their own grills.

Part 3: Flip Wise — Aspen, Colorado

Flip started working in restaurants at 14 but went to college for Journalism. Afterward he went back to working in kitchens, and eventually moved to Colorado, where he realized cooking was his passion. As head chef of Free-Range Kitchen, Flip believes in using local foods and cooking on a wood-fired grill. He also runs Open Fire Catering, which focuses on upscale creative foods using traditional techniques.

Part 3: Lee Ann Whippen — Chicago, Illinois

As a kid, Lee Ann got a taste for BBQ from her dad. She even joined him on the competition circuit. After college, she got into hospitality, but eventually quit her job to do BBQ full time. She used her business knowledge to open Southern Cut BBQ. She loves bringing all types of barbecue to Chicago. She's competed in BBQ for over 21 years and has won grand championships all over the country.

Part 3: Moe Cason — Des Moines, Iowa

Growing up, Moe always had the BBQ duties in his family. After serving in the Navy, he settled down, got married and bought a smoker. He got so interested in BBQ that he flipped his house so he could afford a BBQ trailor. He started competing and got hooked, having participated in over 300 contests as a one-man team. He hopes to start catering and open a brick and mortar soon.

Part 3: Stephen Coe — Plymouth, Massachusetts

Stephen was throwing his own dinner parties at the age of 10. And by 14, he was doing American Culinary Federation competitions, which taught him military-like precision. He is the director of culinary operations at Mirbeau, a French spa concept with four restaurants. He also cooks in a grill series called beyond the Bistro, which puts him in outdoor situations, like cooking in a cranberry bog.

Part 4: Jim "Big Jim" Stancil — Oxford, GA

Growing up Jim was around food all the time. He'd help at the family tavern while also working in construction. He tailgated in his twenties and realized he loved grilling. In his thirties, he started entering BBQ competitions, and turned into a career. He's run Bareknuckles BBQ for over 10 years, and has participated in over 200 contests. He also caters all types of events.

Part 4: Joanna Dunn — Grand Rapids, Michigan

Initially Joanna fought the idea of working in the food industry because she wanted to go into fashion. But at 16 she decided to go to culinary school. She worked in New Orleans and taught culinary school in Atlanta before heading back to the Midwest. She now runs culinary tours and a catering company, and teaches cooking classes. Seven years ago, she gave BBQ a try, and she's only seen success since.

Part 4: Marco Niccoli — Salt Lake City, Utah

Cooking was a huge part of Marco's upbringing as his father used to run restaurants. Marco always knew he would work in the business. He started washing dishes at 12 and worked his way into the catering world, even winning caterer of the year at 22. Marco recently left Traeger Grills to fulfill his lifelong dream of opening his own restaurant and farm concepts. In the meantime, he works as a private chef.

Part 4: Nikki Martin — West Hollywood, California

Nikki went to Harvard to be a doctor, but realized she didn't want to take care of people by giving them drugs but would rather feed them healthy foods. In her late twenties, she started working for a friend doing catering events, which then lead to private chef jobs. She now runs an underground dinner club, Roulette Society. Her pop-up dinners have received international recognition.