Can genetics contribute to the making of a great pitmaster? It worked for Tiger Woods, who began golfing as soon as he started to walk. As we know, the rest is history.

Mark’s dad is Marshall Cooper, the lead cook of the Texas BBQ Posse, who has over 25 years of smoker experience under his belt. Marshall led the posse to first and second place finishes at last weekend’s Blues, Bandits & BBQ cookoff in Oak Cliff. Similar to Tiger, Mark has been observing his dad at the smoker since he could walk. Marshall reports he ate his first baby back rib in his high chair at 18 months!

If Mark was a quarterback, the college scouts would already be circling the Cooper home in north Dallas. This kid loves BBQ. He loves to prep it, loves to cook it and loves to eat it. And he knows exactly what he’s doing…….

During the BBB cookoff, Mark proved his mettle doing everything from unloading wood to cutting sausage, and all things in between. After all that, we named him as the first official junior Texas BBQ Posse member.

He may just be one of the great ones down the road……


(Photos by R.J. Hinkle, top, and Chris WIlkins)

Leave a comment



Boss Lady

7 years ago

Precious! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree ;-D Well done you guys! Was such a pleasure competing with y'all- hope to see you again soon.

Texas BBQ Matters

1 year ago

Mark is twelve no. He has shigged all my recipes and techniques. Even likes to experiment with all of our spices and rubs! I suspect girls are now on his mind rather than brisket and pork butts.




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