Jamie was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri—”The BBQ capital of the world”— and spent his high school years working for one of the best BBQ restaurants in that city. Upon graduation, he joined the Navy and was always on the lookout for great BBQ throughout his travels across the U.S. and abroad. Jamie took his insatiable love and talent for food and became a professional competitive eater (personal best: 318 chicken wings in half an hour). With his winnings, he opened Bear’s Smokehouse, in Windsor, in 2013. Soon after, he entered another contest sponsored by the web-hosting company GoDaddy, in which finalists pitched business ideas to racecar driver and firebrand, Danica Patrick. Jamie’s idea won and he used the prize money to expand his BBQ empire which is continuing to grow through new partnerships like the UConn Huskies and the Hartford Riverfront Recapture organization. Soon to open his 4th location, his restaurants use a staggering 25,000 lbs of meats a week. His goal is to elevate Hartford in the eyes of BBQ aficionados everywhere. Jamie is committed to a mission of giving back to the Connecticut community and making it a better place to live.