Dionn Lanton

Being Italian, it was only natural that Dionn was raised in the kitchen. Cooking is not her only passion, as she is raising three daughters :Kendal, Selah, and Averi and a son Lincoln. She enjoys meeting new people and has never met a stranger. Over the last few years, she has been a major force in building one of the most respected teams on the competition BBQ circuit.

Gary Lanton

Not wanting to fall victim to the "fast food" generation, Gary found a love for cooking early in life by helping his grandfather and Uncle Steve smoke whole hogs for family reunions. This fueled his passion for BBQ where a Big Green Egg became his first BBQ pit. Practice, practice and more practice allowed him to learn the art of BBQ smoking through controlled air flow.



BBQ and grilling has always been a part of our lives. We would often host our friends to a back yard BBQ, Georgia-style. After years of experimenting we thought we knew about good BBQ.

"BBQ Pitmasters" aired for the first time in the fall of 2009, and immediately we knew we had found a sport made just for us. We thought that if these old, out-of-shape country boys could do it, so could we.  So we found the first BBQ competition we could and entered. It happened to be in our hometown of Dublin, GA (you can see pictures of this event in the photos section). After all of this, we had to come up with a name, so we posted on Facebook, asking what name would be good for us. Our friend Taylor Barlow from Augusta said, "Since you guys met at and go to church, why not Holy Smokes?" Holy Smokes it was.

At our first event in Dublin, we ended up with a 10th place call in pork loin. Little did we know what that one call would start. Through our adventures, we have met some wonderful people! The kind of people that would give the shirt off of their back for their fellow man. We have been blessed to have some of these people mentor us and help us to become who we are today. We can only hope to be the blessing to others that they have been to us and help lead the next generation of BBQ cooks.

Our Fabulous Sponsors