Luis Rivera Rodríguez From Barbecue Showdown Season 3 wearing glasses.

Nabin Ghyapchan

5 Facts About Luis Rivera Rodríguez From Barbecue Showdown Season 3

Luis Rivera Rodríguez competes on Netflix’s Barbecue Showdown. He is also known as Meat Papi.

Luis worked a regular government job but he smoked meat in his yard for kicks.

His barbecue skills caught the producer’s eye on TikTok. And, a surprise DM invited him to join the show.

Luis doubted it at first. He thought it might be fake. However, a FaceTime call proved it real.

After the show wrapped, Luis left Chicago for Dallas. He started his first barbecue venture.

Now he serves his tasty smoked meats at Outfit Brewing. Moreover, his Instagram buzzes with BBQ updates.

Keep reading to uncover other 5 facts about Luis Rivera Rodríguez.

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1) Luis Rivera Rodríguez’s Father Was A Pastor.

Luis Rivera Rodríguez keeps his Instagram followers in the loop about his food-related projects.

He often shares snippets of his everyday life on IG, but he seems to hold his family’s privacy in high regard – you’ll catch a glimpse of them in his posts.

We did spot one exception though. On August 29, 2020, he gave a shout-out to his brother and sister-in-law. They’d surprised him with a Yeti cooler for his birthday.

In a recent chat with D Magazine, Luis pulled back the curtain a bit on his roots. He let slip that his dad was a pastor.

He also touched on how his family had a knack for feeding folks. This upbringing left its mark playing a big part in kickstarting his love affair with cooking.

Luis Rivera Rodríguez From Barbecue Showdown Season 3
Rivera enjoying his time cooking. (Photo Source: IG)

Luis didn’t forget to tip his hat to his brother crediting him for lighting the spark that got him tinkering in the kitchen.

So, his family played a big role in his barbecue success. In addition to that, Luis’ natural skills also helped.

These factors paved the way for his career to take off.  And, it all led up to his spot on the Barbecue Showdown season 3.

2) Born In Venezuela, He Was Raised In Chicago.

Luis Rivera Rodríguez hails from Venezuela but spent his childhood in Chicago.

His Latino family’s strong cultural bonds shine through in his cooking methods and dishes.

Luis experiences a strange cultural clash, despite his Venezuelan origins.

He says,

“To Venezuelans, I’m not really a Venezuelan because I was raised here. Here, they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re a foreigner.’”

His Mexican-influenced upbringing adds another twist to his identity resulting in a mix of cultural impacts.

“When I speak Spanish, a lot of them say, ‘You’re using Mexican words but you’re not Mexican.’ And some of my dishes are Puerto Rican, like my Puerto Rican rice. I’m a melting pot, man.”

Luis’s mixed background has a big effect on his cooking style.

After his stint on Barbecue Showdown, he relocated to Texas teaming up with Zach Flagg, his old pal and Outfit’s operations boss.

Now, he’s put down roots in Dallas whipping up meals for the locals at Outfit Brewing.

3) Rivera Loves Cooking For Charity.

One thing that stands out about Luis Rivera Rodríguez is his passion for cooking for charity.

The Barbecue Showdown’s contestant’s Instagram posts frequently highlight his charitable endeavors.

Luis aims to provide affordable food and beverages through his BBQ business, a mission he holds dear.

Recently, he expressed his honor at being invited by @bigpapismokehouse to participate in @hogsforthecause, a renowned charity event in New Orleans.

Luis Rivera Rodríguez won local charity competition.
Rivera holding certificates. (Photo Source: IG)

Also, on December 13, 2023, Luis announced another moment of pride: several of his dishes were entered for him in a local charity competition and they won.

The money raised from this event went to a local animal shelter, and Luis was thrilled to contribute.

In the photo, he holds two certificates of victory with pride.

4) He Is A Dog Lover.

Besides cooking and charity work, Luis Rivera Rodríguez has a deep love for dogs.

His social media posts reveal his affection for his pets.

He once owned two dogs, but sadly, one passed away.

On May 31, Luis shared a heartfelt message on Instagram about his loss:

“My best friend gained his real wings yesterday. Jr was my faithful companion in every cook despite the weather or time.”

Luis further mentioned that his dog, Jr, was 14.5 years old.

Luis Rivera Rodríguez's dog.
Luis Rivera Rodríguez’s dog, Jr. (Photo Source: IG)

The pitmaster also has another dog named Mack.

In 2021, he posted several photos of Mack playing in the snow, showcasing their bond.

Luis’s love for his dogs is evident, and his posts often highlight the joy they bring to his life.

5) Luis Lost 51 lbs In A Bit Over Six Months.

Luis Rivera Rodríguez’s weight loss journey is proof of his determination and discipline.

Known for his culinary skills on Netflix’s Barbecue Showdown, Luis set a goal to lose 50 pounds in one year.

Remarkably, he surpassed this target, shedding 51 pounds in just over six months.

Moreover, Luis achieved this without medication, surgeries, or extreme measures.

Luis Rivera Rodríguez before and after weight loss.
Rivera’s before and after weight loss. (Photo Source: IG)

Instead, he credits his success to joining CrossFit and the support of his trainer and best friend, Jorge De La Fuente.

Luis also acknowledges his better half, whom he humorously calls his “annoying wife,” for constantly pushing him to achieve his fitness goals.

His journey demonstrates his ability to accomplish whatever he sets his mind to, whether it’s in the kitchen or the gym.

As fans await the outcome of Barbecue Showdown, Luis’s weight loss story stands as an inspiring example of dedication and hard work.