If you are a professional chef or maybe only interested in cooking, Netflix‘s new cooking show American Barbecue Showdown becomes an unmissable show. As the budding chefs go head-to-head testing their culinary skills to get crowned as star pitmaster at the end of every episode, there’s a lot to learn for cooking aspirants. And if in case that is not adequate to suffice your thirst for knowledge, you can always learn from the judges.

One of whom is Chef Melissa Cookston. Melissa, who has won the title of World BBQ champion 7 times, is a pitmaster and founder of the restaurant Memphis Barbecue Company.

Read the article until the end to find more about Melissa’s life, which includes general wikis, net worth, and information about her husband.

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Melissa Cookston Bio — From Age To Parents 

Melissa Nichols was born in 1968, thus her age as of September 2020 was 59. Ever since she was born, Melissa has been celebrating her birthday on the 29th of October.

Melissa’s hometown is in a small town called Ruleville located in Mississippi, United States. However, she was raised by her parents in Greenville, Mississippi.

Melissa’s love for barbecue came when she used to visit her grandfather’s coffee shop in Pontotoc, nearby which a barbecue place was located. Sitting in her grandpa’s coffee shop, she used to smell barbecue and if she was lucky, she could even get a sandwich.

Melissa recalled a beautiful memory with her mother in her book, Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room. The memory of driving all the way to Gridley’s with her mom to eat the best ribs in the world.

Even though Melissa never publicly mentioned her father, it is suspected that Tommy E. Nichols Sr., who is in Melissa’s ‘Family and Relationships’ section of Facebook. Melissa does have a cousin and her name is Pam Vaughn.

For education, Melissa went to North Pontotoc High School.

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How Tall Is She?

Melissa Cookston stands tall at a height of 5 feet 7 inches. Furthermore, her weight of 63 kilograms perfectly complements her stature.

What Is Melissa Cookston Net Worth?

Per sources online, Melissa Cookston had a net worth of over $20 million by 2020.

Melissa’s earliest memory of barbecue includes going down to her grandpa’s coffee shop and smelling the barbecue that would come off from the near barbecue station.

But, Melissa only began considering about BBQ business after she met her husband, Pete Cookston. The couple went to several BBQ contests together, opened their own restaurant Memphis Barbecue Company and expanded their business into other cities.


Melissa wishes a Father’s day to her husband, Pete, in a Twitter post.

Around the time when almost every pitmasters are male, Melissa stands as an exemplary figure for all the women who want to be in this business.

Prior to her appearance in Netflix‘s American Barbecue Showdown, Melissa was a judge on the 4th season of Destination America‘s BBQ Pitmasters. She was even named by Fox News as America’s most influential BBQ pitmasters.

Aside from her reality TV career and restaurant business, Melissa is an author too. She had written two books as of September 2020, which are Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room and Smokin’ Hot in the South, where she has recalled her memories and experiences related to barbecue and some recipes too.

And in case you want to learn more recipes, you can always visit her social media handles, especially her Instagram. A two-time winner of the Memphis May World Barbecue Championship made heavy sales in 2014. She pulled in somewhere between $10 million and $15 million in sales through her restaurants.

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Who Is Melissa Cookston Husband?

Melissa Cookston is married to Pete Cookston, her husband of over 2 decades.

While it is not known how Melissa Cookston and her husband, Pete Cookston, met each other for the first time and neither is when they started dating, it was Pete who introduced her first to barbecue. The pair even went to a BBQ contest together while they were dating.

Some years after dating, the couple got married in September 1997. To celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary, Melissa and Pete went to Mesquite Chop House for a dinner party.

Taking nothing away from her, but whatever Melissa is now, she is there because she had support from her wonderful husband, Pete.

With her husband, Melissa opened the first Memphis Barbecue Company in 2010. With support from her husband, she opened a second restaurant in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and third in Atlanta. Now, Melissa is viewing another location for a possible fourth restaurant.

Melissa and Pete, a native of Nesbit, Mississippi, have a daughter together. Her name is Lauren Cookston. Lauren graduated from the University of Mississippi-Ole Miss in 2020 with a degree in International studies.

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