MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - As summer begins to heat up, so does backyard grilling The aroma of brisket, chicken and ribs can be smelled for miles. And it may all be coming from the backyard of one local pitmaster.
Alyson Lupinetti has been fixing barbeque ever since she was a little kid.
"To me all this is so natural," Lupinetti told FOX 29's Bill Rohrer.
That's because she is one of the best pitmasters in the Delaware Valley. She spends each weekend in the summer competing all across the country.
"We have been as close as Mt. Laurel, as far as California," Lupinetti explained. "Summers are not playtime for me. Summers are for work. We are there Friday, Saturday, Sunday vending, selling, competing, packing up and driving back Monday…to start all over again."
Lupinetti learned her barbeque skills from her father, Butch. The barbeque legend would spend summers winning countless awards at various competitions. One day, he even received a call from the Food Network saying it was interested in paying a visit to his home.
That someone happened to be celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
Flay and Butch threw down to see who could make the best barbeque, and Butch came out on top.
A few years later, Lupinetti's father would pass away.
"I think he would love that I like it just as much as he did, and I enjoy keeping it going for him," Lupinetti said.
Now, Lupinetti is the brains behind Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ, acting as one of the younger female pit-masters in the country. At 26, she has already won some prestigious awards, leaving her mark on a male-dominated field.
"I am not just a girl," she said. "I can cook some barbeque too."
Lupinetti described going to events where people approach her husband, assuming he is the one that kickstarted the business. That's when he'll turn to Lupinetti and say she taught him everything he knows.
Teaching him the tricks of the trade, just like her dad did with her.