From Info Technician to Barbecue Magician

"I love it. I love it," he said. "I mean, one, I don't get offended. If you don't like my food, frankly I'm cooking for myself. When it comes to cooking the meat upstairs, I'm cooking for myself. If I try to cook for the crowd or the people, then I don't think I'm going to succeed. I gotta make the food that makes me happy. And doing what I'm doing now makes me incredibly happy. And I love watching the little kids just, they can barely eat but they've got this pork bone that they are just ripping to shreds and they've got sauce on their face and the grease, and the parents are the same way, and they are all caught up in the same carnal fest, and they are just eating away, and it's just ... it brings a smile to my face."

Barbecue Magician: The Father's Advice

The story of Daversa's life and career seems to benefit from lucky twists and happy intrusions of chance. But the most important driver of his personal plotline over the years, he said, has been advice his father gave him long ago.

"My dad always told me that if you do what you love, then you are actually going to succeed," he said. "And to this day ... one of the things that your dad tells you when you are a kid and you remember, that has just always kind of been in my blood and I've always remembered that. And it took me a long time to actually believe it because you know, I was in a different field for so long that you kind of get numb to what you may actually want to do in your life.

"It is, there's a very small percentage of people in the world that are actually doing exactly what they want to do and love to do and I definitely feel blessed that I was able to do exactly -- and not just in the same field, but exactly what I want to do."

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