1160 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60610
BIOGRAPHY (via www.chicagoqrestaurant.com)
LEE ANN WHIPPEN Chef/Partner
Chef Lee Ann Whippen is excited to start the new urban BBQ restaurant Chicago Q. Lee Ann Whippen is also President and Owner of Wood Chick's BBQ Restaurants & Catering Company, Lead Pitmaster for Wood Chick's BBQ Competition Cooking Team, Member Kansas City Barbecue Society, KCBS Certified BBQ Judge, former Newspaper Food Columnist, 15 years in Hotel Catering Management and more than 14 years cooking competitive BBQ. In 1996 began competing in BBQ with "Team Boaris", including father and step-mother, Jim (2010 winner of prestigious "Pioneer of BBQ" award) and Kathy Tabb, and won 1996 GA State BBQ Championship, entitling an invitation to the prestigious National BBQ Championship, the American Royal Invitational BBQ Competition in Kansas City whereby winning National Award 1st Place in Pork.
Founded Wood Chick's BBQ Catering Company and BBQ Competition Team in Chesapeake, VA in 2002. In that short time, Wood Chick's has won Multiple State BBQ Grand Championships and Awards in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia to name a few most recently 2009 Virginia Grand Champion.
The Wood Chick's BBQ Catering Company had grown twofold between 2002 & 2004 and added BBQ vending at various Fairs and Festivals in VA, MD, NC. Due to the growth of the catering, the 24' trailer with smoker on board wasn't enough to handle the demand and the decision was made to open Wood Chick's BBQ Restaurant in Chesapeake Virginia in 2004, which furnishes a state of the art kitchen with large commercial smoker where Apple, Hickory and Pecan Woods flavor all meats treated with dry rub, various mops and "Award Winning-VA 1st 2006" Wood Chicks Mild and Spicy BBQ Sauce. Due to local demand and growth a move to a larger location in April of 2008 with a full bar, drive-thru and seating approximately 300 was opened.
Winner of The Virginian Pilots' "Best of Chesapeake" 6 years in a row for Best BBQ and Ribs since opening in 2004. She has appeared in numerous TV, Radio and Print stories revolving around BBQ including most recently TLC's "BBQ Pitmasters" series of 1 hour shows which premiered 12/3/09 thru Feb of 2010 where she was 1 of 7 Pitmasters featured on 8 part series taking viewers into the high-stakes world of competitive BBQ! She has been selected to appear on new 2nd Series of "BBQ Pitmasters" due to air in August of 2010.
Other appearances include Winner of Food Network's Bobby Flay Throwdown" for best BBQ and selected to be in Bobby Flay's new cookbook "Bobby Flay's Favorite Throwdowns" due out in October of 2010, 2004 "Bobby Flay Road Show 2", Travel Channel, Today Show, The 700 Club, People Magazine (article focused on Extreme BBQ), WAVY TV, Joel Rubin Show and the Virginia Pilot.
In July of 2005 and 2007 served BBQ to our Senators and Congressmen in the Capitol. Her Beef Brisket recipe appears in the "2006 James Beard Award Winning" cookbook "The New American Cooking" by Joan Nathan. In 2007 she was 1 of 18 Chefs in the Country selected to compete on Versus Network's "National BBQ Championship Series" competing for $100,000. 2009 Speaker at National BBQ Convention.
Wood Chick's was 1 of 13 teams selected to participate in the "BBQ Shootout Series" and various Nascar tracks in 2009 including Food Demos for Prilosec and appearing on Speed Channel. 2009 Shining Star Award given by the Chesapeake Travel and Tourism Board for positively influencing the public perception of Chesapeake as a travel destination. 2010 Women's World Magazine & ESPN Magazine.