Head Principal Chef Mike and the National High School BBQ Association

Welcome to Connect FCS Ed, thank you so much for listening. I’m your host Barbara Scully and today’s episode is geared towards the high school National Barbecue association with Chef Mike Erickson. I’m really excited to have him on the show today. Chef Mike has 20 years of experience, working as an Instructor for Austin Community College, he was a cordon blue instructor, and he’s has 12 years senior as a high school teacher for Culinary Arts. Chef Mike is going to share with us what the high school barbecue Association is all about.

Listen in…


•  I grew up in Central Texas, and barbecue is part of our state. Obviously, we love beef, but then you’ve got all kinds of other barbecue all over the United States and in the world. And I thought, what better way to teach meat cookery. We all teach it. I taught it in college, I taught it in high school, when I was in culinary school, they taught us about meat cookery. So why now use the good old fashion American tradition of BBQ as a teaching methodology and use project-based learning to bring groups of kids together around a live charcoal fire or a wood fire fit, and learn how to cook different kinds of meat. (2:54)

• I’ve developed a curriculum and a website, and now the National High School BBQ Association to show other school districts and other teachers, how easy this is to implement into your community and make money for your own kids, for your own program. Engage your kids, once they eat barbecue and they try it for the first time, they’re hooked. (7:27)

• These high school kids go out and cook, and they can go out and feed their community and help nourish first responders.  In a big way, high school teams now in America are using this. They’re feeding their campus, they’re feeding administration, they’re holding competitions. They’re working at a local soup kitchen or a homeless shelter, they use it as a fundraiser. I think it brings more money back into their educational program and gives these kids a better learning experience, and they get to eat.   (12:16)

• Well, for my knife skills workbook, I have a butcher as the career, where they have to actually go into the Occupational Handbook and look up like how much does a butcher on average make and what is the job entail? Do they have to have any certificates or endorsement and educational background? And I thought it was just a perfect pairing with knives and a butcher and everything.   (21:03)

• Whatever your family recipe is, that’s how it starts, we want kids to have positive learning experiences, we want to promote them and build their self-esteem. We want them to become amazing human beings, and I see barbecue as a way to do that because it brings all the people together, their grandparents, their teachers, their administration can all come. And believe it or not, this is going to sound crazy, and I would say it’s nuts talking about it even now, but we actually were able to film a television show that was for the Food Network on the Discovery Channel called Varsity Barbecue, and it was filmed at my high school. (35:31)


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• National High School BBQ Association, Inc. (NHSBBQA)
• National Director / A.k.a – The Principal
• Website – www.HighSchoolBBQLeague.com
• Facebook – www.Facebook.com/HighSchoolBBQ
• #ProjectBasteLearning
• Also Founder of the Bitmoji CTE BRIGADE Facebook group –Facebook.com/CTEBrigade
• Email: principal@highschoolbbqleague.com


• Team BBQ
• Operation BBQ
• Mercy Chefs
• United By BBQ
• World Kitchen
• Feeding America

March 31, 2021

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