Following both his heart and his taste buds, Michael LaPidus founded Q-BBQ in LaGrange in 2009 and opened in Downtown Naperville in 2012. He is set to open his Lakeview location late Fall 2013. “I’m not a trained chef; however, I am a trained eater,” he says, grinning and gearing up to tell the tale of his quest for the best. LaPidus was introduced to a well-prepared brisket while traveling and then went on a mission to try every small barbecue stand he could find in the south. “After all, barbecue is America’s original comfort food,” LaPidus says. “I spent an entire year learning about smokers, types of wood, sauces — everything I could explore about barbecue.” Once he perfected the methods, the recipes, and the plan, he opened Q-BBQ.
Shortly following, his interest in America’s iconic food staples lead him to develop a small Hot Dog restaurant called the Hotdog Company in La Grange. It boasts dogs fried, grilled and steamed along with a wall of 73 different flavored bottled sodas from all regions of the country and different decades of childhood. Along with overseeing the three restaurants he was appointed by Governor Quinn to the Illinois Racing Board. He also serves on the Illinois Restaurant Association Board. Additionally, LaPidus is vice president of the H Foundation, which raises funds for basic science research at Northwestern University’s Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center. His grassroots charity has risen over $5 million dollars for cancer research in just 12 years. LaPidus is married to Jaclyn who is Vice President for Bank of America’s International Mergers and Divestures. They are expecting their first child in January.