Carson City BBQ
is Phil Hyatt and
Duane Felker’s crazy
dream come true.
“We were just two guys having a good time. We would go out to the lake (Lake Lahontan) and host a barbecue we affectionately called ‘Phil’s Kitchen.’ We cooked for anyone who showed up. Soon, we had lines of 40 or 50 people on the weekends. Talk about a dream come true! In 1996, there was a drought at the lake, so we decided to go to the Sparks rib cook-off. We decided we could do better and bought a cooker. The rest is history.”
-Phil Hyatt, Owner, a lifetime Carson City, Nevada resident.
Hyatt, owner of PR Door and Glass, and Felker, a driver for Sysco Food Service, started educating themselves about all things barbecue. They discovered there’s more to a good sauce than a ‘secret ingredient’.
Hyatt bought several cookbooks and after learning the basics, he and Felker advanced into creating their own sauces.
“Phil would come over every Sunday, and we’d try this, and try that. We kept at it until we found something we liked.”
So what did it take?
Then, a friend asked them to cater a wedding and they slowly began to regain their cooking confidence. In 1997, they entered South Lake Tahoe’s Horizon Resort Casino Best on the Mountain Cook-Off and won Best Sauce. Encouraged by that win, they returned every year winning awards for their ribs and sauces for the next ten years – seven of those years for first place ribs. In 1998, they entered the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off where they placed fourth for best ribs and garnered fifth place the following year. In 2001, Carson City BBQ won People’s Choice and Best Sauce at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. This prestigious honor marked the first time a team won two first-place events in the competition.
Since then, this crazy little idea and single cooker have turned into a mega BBQ catering business.
Carson City BBQ Company sells more than 12,000 bottles of sauce and rubs a year across every state as well as internationally. They cater 200-300 events a year of every shape and size. From a single barbecue to 7 smokers (equipped to hold up to 700lbs of meat each), a 20-foot trailer filled with tents, grills, warmers, banners and cookers specifically for events, a refrigerated trailer for onsite refrigeration and specially designed trucks for catering and trailers to pull it all together. Be sure to make room, Carson City BBQ Company is coming! Remember, we cook freah onsite, nothing reheated, no boxed meals. Fresh from the smoker to buffet line, Carson City BBQ continues to successfully grow under Phil’s foresight in the catering business.
According to Hyatt, “Perfecting the rib as an edible piece of art is what keeps us cooking.”
Sadly, In 2018, Felker passed away suddenly, and Hyatt took the sole reins of the business. Since then, Carson City BBQ continues to honor Phil and Duane’s BBQ vision by continuing to win awards and becoming a household name in catering.