Tuffy Stone is many things: a World Record-breaking champion pitmaster, a former Marine, a classically-trained chef, a businessman, and an occasional reality television star. Dubbed "The Professor", Tuffy's legendary precision and obsession with the science of smoke make him one of the most influential people in barbecue. Originally trained in French culinary technique at La Maisonette, Tuffy has been on the Richmond culinary landscape since 1986. After founding one of the mid-Atlantic's most successful special events companies, A Sharper Palate, with wife Leslie, Tuffy was looking to reconnect with his culinary instincts and challenged himself to learn an entirely new cuisine. In 2004, Tuffy attended his first barbecue competition and found himself hooked. Though early cooks were humbling, to say the least, Tuffy redoubled his efforts and gradually became one of the most formidable competitors on the circuit. He has earned Grand Champion titles in nearly every major barbecue competition including back-to-back wins at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Grand Champion at the 2015 Kingsford Invitational, and his history-making run at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational. In 2016, Tuffy and his Cool Smoke BBQ Team made history at The Jack, becoming the only team to ever win the contest three times and the only team to take home back to back top prizes. In addition to his place atop the competition barbecue circuit, Tuffy served as a judge for Destination America's Barbecue Pitmasters for 5 seasons, traveled the world, including cooking for the troops in Kuwait and teaching classes at Meatstock in Australia and New Zealand, and has been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City multiple times. On May 15, 2018, Tuffy released his highly-anticipated debut cookbook, Cool Smoke: The Art of Great Barbecue from St. Martin's Press.