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|Born||March 25, 1965|
Kevin Bludso (born March 25, 1965) is an American chef, restaurateur, and television personality. He was born in Compton, California and is the owner of Bludso's Bar and Que. The original location was founded in his hometown of Compton before closing in 2016. Bludso now owns restaurants in Hollywood, Banc of California Stadium and Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.
As a reality TV personality, Bludso has been seen on shows like Bar Rescue, Fire Masters and The American BBQ Showdown.
Bludso was born to a police officer father and a Black Panthers supporter mother. He was first introduced to Texas barbecue in Corsicana by his grandmother at the age of nine. He and his grandmother worked together every summer. They worked at multiple restaurants during the week and on weekends they sold barbecue. He attended college in Texas as well, going to Bishop College in Dallas. Bludso also played for the football team at Bishop and would graduate with a degree in business. After graduating, Bludso began working for the Dept. of Corrections until he was terminated. During this time, he started DJing and catering while he fought his case for wrongful termination. Bludso won the case before opening his first restaurant.
In his senior year of college, Bludso had the opportunity to go all NAIA. He was told by his coach that for a chance in the NFL, he would have to become a linebacker. Bludso would go to Houston after he received a call from the Oilers. After he spent one day with rookie free agents, they told him just as his college coach did—he would have to become a linebacker if he wanted to proceed with his career.
Bludso first worked with his grandmother in numerous local Corsicana restaurants such as Vernon's, The Holiday Inn, The Pancake House, and more.
After years of being a caterer, Bludso opened his first restaurant in 2008. The restaurant had a grand opening in his hometown of Compton, California. Bludso first used a site called ChowHound under an anonymous name. Tony Chen, a LA food blogger and founder of the blog SinoSoul, found out it was Bludso and then helped the restaurant gain traction through his review. LA Weekly's, Jonathan Gold would name Bludso's one of the 99 most essential restaurants in L.A. Additionally, Zagat also reviewed Bludso's Bar and Que, and named them both 1st and 2nd best barbecue in L.A.
Bludso decided to close his first location in Compton in 2016 after he and the building owner could not agree on new rent terms. Bludso's Bar and Que would stay open in Hollywood and keep its Melbourne outpost.
Kevin Bludso has made TV appearances working as a judge on the Canadian show Fire Masters. He has also made appearances as a celebrity chef on the show Bar Rescue alongside host Jon Taffer. Nightclub & Bar (October 19, 2015) The Royal Oaks May Go Broke Retrieved 19 August 2020 He is the lead judge on Netflix BBQ competition show The American BBQ Showdown.
- Vaughn, Daniel (August 5, 2015) Interview with Kevin Bludso of Bludso's BBQ. Retrieved 18 August 2020
- Reames, Kristen (February 25, 2020) Celebrating Diversity: Kevin Bludso of Bludso's Bar & Que Retrieved 18 August 2020
- Galuten, Noah (July 26, 2011). Q & A With Bludso's BBQ Kevin Bludso: Smoke, Termination, and HTTPS. Retrieved 19 August 2020
- Jacobs, Janet (June 16, 2013) Corsicana lessons translate to Hollywood dining success Retrieved 19 August 2020
- Scattergood, Amy (November 16, 2016) Bludso's BBQ in Compton closes, to reopen in a new location Retrieved 18 August 2020
- Rody, Bree (February 25, 2019) Food Network Announces Sponsors for Fire Masters Retrieved 18 August 2019
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