Since childhood, Andrew Darneille has always associated great food with happy social gatherings. Hailing from Bethesda, Maryland, his love of BBQ started while learning how to grill lunch for his family while on summer vacations, and later spawned into his career. His career in food service began the summer before college, and he was managing restaurants in the Washington D.C. area soon after graduation. Over the past 21 years, Andrew has worked for some of the biggest restaurant companies in the country, including The Cheesecake Factory, Hard Rock Café, Blackfinn AmeriPub, and Richard Sandoval Restaurants. Andrew reignited his passion for barbecue when he had the unique opportunity to help rebuild a classic American BBQ concept which introduced him to the competition scene. Soon thereafter, he began to compete in professional barbecue competitions, and quickly saw success. Andrew has led his Smokecraft Championship BBQ Team to over 120 awards since 2018. In 2021, Smokecraft was named the Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association Tier 2 Team of the Year, as well as the Tier 2 Pork Team of the Year. They also finished 5th in Pork at the 2021 Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue, and 8th Overall.
When he’s not competing, Andrew is the Owner and Pitmaster of Smokecraft Modern Barbecue in Arlington, Virginia, which opened in July of 2020. The restaurant continues to win awards as well, including being named one of the “10 Best BBQ Joints in the DMV” by the Washington Post two years in a row, and being named Arlington Magazine’s 2021 Best New Restaurant. Andrew continues to lead his team with tricks he’s learned competing, always in the never-ending pursuit of creating the best barbecue possible, and pushing the boundaries of what barbecue is and can be.
You can follow Andrew and Smokecraft on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Tik Tok by following @smokecraftbbq.