From the kitchen of ...

Anthony Dunn serves up BBQ 'Dunn Right'

Posted 9/19/18

 Anthony Dunn, along with his wife, Karen, at GDaddy’s BBQ Catering has turned his restaurant into a catering business that does “BBQ ‘Dunn’ Right.”

They've been smoking meat …

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From the kitchen of ...

Anthony Dunn serves up BBQ 'Dunn Right'


 Anthony Dunn, along with his wife, Karen, at GDaddy’s BBQ Catering has turned his restaurant into a catering business that does “BBQ ‘Dunn’ Right.”

They've been smoking meat for around five years, but Anthony credits Karen with the business’ success, as she has not only worked on its social media, but also its marketing.

Anthony lost his job at M&M Mars in 2013, at 55 years old. He didn’t believe he would find another job with comparable pay. While searching, one of his grandkids asked him, “GDaddy, why don’t you just cook? You cook all the time anyway.” That sparked the idea for GDaddy’s BBQ Catering.

Originally cooking barbecue part time when the business first began, GDaddy’s started at Cleveland State Community College, in the school's small business incubator.

“We got to Cleveland State through the help of a lot of good friends and God,” Dunn said. “We had a whole lot of help when we first got started, and we appreciate it to this day.”

As he recently turned 61, the Charleston native said GDaddy’s became a full-time operation just two years ago. He learned to cook through his grandfather, who owned a smoker and would cook meat for his smokehouse when Anthony was young.

“I’m the pit master and co-owner along with my wife,” he added. “But I didn’t go to school specifically for cooking; instead, I learned it all through trial and error, plus YouTube and lots and lots of books.”

As far as cookware goes, Dunn works with four smokers, each of varying sizes for smaller or larger orders.

Although he didn’t attend cooking school, he did earn his associate’s degree from Chattanooga State and is willing to take on any dish.

Brisket is one of GDaddy’s biggest sellers. Dunn said as long as it fits on the smoker, it can be cooked. Barbecue chicken, bacon-wrapped chicken on a stick or scallops, smoked salmon and mackerel are just a few of the many options available. They’re now capable of roasting an entire pig as well.

For barbecue, Dunn marinates the meat in a brine made of apple juice, brown sugar, salt, cloves and allspice. After the meat has soaked up the brine all night, it is coated in a dry rub, wrapped up and cooked.

“We also do prime rib — very carefully I might add— as we’ve done it for weddings recently,” he said. “We coat it with our rub before we cook it, then I stick the thermometer right in the middle of it. When it gets about 140 or 145 degrees, it’s good to go.”

Flexibility is one of GDaddy’s strengths, as Anthony and Karen are willing to prepare any dish for any occasion, like when they prepared fried corn fritters upon request for a wedding. Recipe matching is also common, as they often cook old, passed down family recipes “just like grandma used to make” for events.

Being barbecue-focused, ribs are also a large portion of cooked items with Dunn referring to his overall cooking style as "Tennessee Valley Barbecue."

Those who visit GDaddy’s and perhaps order a pulled pork sandwich can expect to get a very large portion, as Dunn believes a sandwich isn’t done properly unless it requires a fork to finish it. Cole slaw, hot slaw and meat are heaped liberally together, but sauce is not added by GDaddy’s. Dunn wants customers to add their preferred amount and taste themselves, chosen from their wide array of homemade sauces.

Many customers learn of GDaddy’s because of positive word of mouth from previous clients. Dunn said he doesn’t slander other barbecue restaurants, and believes his positive customer service and communal word of mouth provide more than enough publicity for his company.

“I hope people like everything we do. We try to treat people the way they’d wanna be treated. We try to do everything fair — including our prices — and I think that’s what people like about us,” he said. “Most of the time, people have leftovers. When we have leftovers, we take them up the street to the soup kitchen.”

Dunn will often go around to companies to inform managers of holiday specials in case they’d like to treat their employees.  GDaddy’s is a common sight at certain community festivals.

“It feels good when some people follow us around to these festivals. It’s nice to know they’re looking for us,” he added.

For aspiring chefs, Dunn suggests keeping a cool head and not letting failure destroy your hopes, as he has failed on numerous occasions, but has used those failures to learn and improve his skills.

To learn more information about GDaddy’s or to contact the business, go to its Facebook page or its website at It can be reached at 423-458-4060. It is located at 33 2nd Street in Cleveland.



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