Andy Husbands is the award-winning chef, author and Pitmaster behind the Smoke Shop BBQ, Boston’s acclaimed barbecue restaurants, and three-time winner of Boston Magazine’s “Best Barbecue” in 2018, 2019 and 2021, as well as The Improper Bostonian’s “Boston’s Best” Award for “Best Barbecue” in 2017 and 2018. Currently with five locations in Cambridge’s Kendall Square & Harvard Square, Boston’s Seaport District, Somerville’s Assembly Row, and most recently Hub Hall at TD Garden, Husbands is “smoking” the competition. With a career spanning nearly 30 years in the restaurant industry, Husbands serves as one of the city’s most celebrated culinary leaders and a foremost authority on regional Barbecue and live-fire cooking in New England.
A long-time passion project for Husbands, the Smoke Shop is a culmination of his nearly two decades on the competitive barbecue circuit, showcasing his modern approach to slow-cooked, competition-style barbecue, which Husbands dubs as “City ‘Q”. His first exposure to the craft of BBQ was while working as a Chef under James Beard Award-winning Chef Chris Schlesinger at East Coast Grill. Husbands is the co-founder of internationally recognized team, IQUE BBQ, which became the first Non-Southern BBQ Team to win the Grand Champion title at the Jack Daniel’s 2009 World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Tennessee. They additionally took home first place in the brisket category at the Kansas City American Royal World Series of Barbecue in 2007, and more than 35 Kansas City Barbeque Society grand championships. His journey competing with the award-winning team was featured in The Wall Street Journal’s August 2018 piece, “The Yankees Who Brought Science to the BBQ World”. Husbands is also the co-author of six coveted cookbooks, including The Smoke Shop’s Backyard BBQ: How to Eat, Drink, and Party like a Pitmaster, Wicked Good Burgers, Wicked Good Barbecue, Grill to Perfection, The Fearless Chef, and Pitmaster: Recipes, Techniques & Barbecue Wisdom, awarded “Book of the Year” by National Barbecue News in 2017.
Hailed “Boston’s Meat Maven” by The Boston Globe, Husbands has appeared on CBS This Morning, Food Network, FOX & Friends, Cooking Channel’s Burgers, Brew & ‘Que, and most recently, as a celebrity guest judge on Season 1 and 2 of Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters.
Deeply rooted in the community, Husbands passionately drives awareness for Share Our Strength, the nation’s leading childhood hunger relief organization, serving as honorary chair of its annual Taste of the Nation fundraiser. He is also a Vice President of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, for which he was honored as MRA’s Chef of the Year in 2014, as well as a Rodman Celebration Restaurant Chair and avid volunteer at local women’s shelter, Rosie’s Place.