Over the next 13 years, he went into cardiac arrest three times, spent six months in a coma, had to learn to walk and talk again and lost more than 170 pounds. And finally, last October, he got both a heart and kidney transplant.
Oh, and during those years, Taylor created Big Daddy’s BBQ, a catering team that’s become a force in local competition cooking. Barbecue is in Taylor’s genes.
Later this year, he plans to have his rub available locally as well. His grandfather, Walter Epison, ran the Mutton Shack, a barbecue joint in Whitesville, in the early 1950s.
“And we’re talking with Houchens about getting it into their IGA stores,” Taylor said. Last month, he released his own barbecue sauce, which is available at eight locations in Owensboro.
Heart failureIt was his failing heart that brought him into smoking meat and catering. “My father barbecued and I loved to grill,” Taylor said. “I did it all through high school and college, but I didn’t start smoking (meat) until 2011.”
He said, “About that time, ‘BBQ Pitmasters’ came on TV. I got hooked on it and I thought I could do that. I had plenty of time to study the craft.” Taylor entered his first competition in 2011 at Taylor’s Tavern. “In 2008, they told me they had done all they could for me and I needed a heart transplant,” Taylor said. “I spent most of the year in the hospital and finally got a pacemaker. I changed medicine and that made me better for awhile.”
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