Elliott Buckner cooked up 850 pounds of barbecue last year alone to benefit brain injury survivors

Published in 2023 Virginia Super Lawyers magazine

By Beth Taylor on April 26, 2023


Almost everybody loves barbecue—but few take it to the level of Elliott Buckner. He and his brother, Brian, a teacher who lives in Spencerport, New York, have their own business, Buckner Brothers BBQ.

“I’ve been Q’ing for over 20 years now. My wife bought me a little electric smoker for Christmas one year; she has regretted it with some regularity since then,” says Buckner, a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci in Richmond.

After several years of tinkering at home, the brothers entered a contest on a lark and won. “It took off from there, and for about a decade, until COVID, we would travel around to barbecue competitions several times a year,” Buckner says. “We had a big group of guys on our team, and we had a blast. I think one of the things that I loved about it was meeting all the other competitors, who came from all walks of life.”

Though the pandemic put a hold on his competitive endeavors, Buckner is still involved in an annual fundraising barbecue for Richmond-based Community Brain Injury Services (CBIS).

“Now that we have taken a break from competitions, that is my big barbecue event I look forward to every year,” he says. “We started off cooking 150 pounds of pork the first year, and this past year we cooked about 850 pounds, and we’ve had to extend it to two nights of cooking.”

Getting involved in CBIS 14 years ago was a natural fit. “A large part of my practice, and our firm’s practice, has been representing victims and families following a traumatic brain injury,” Buckner explains. “The barbecue event we do for them each year came about as an idea to establish an event that can raise money for the organization, but also one that the members can actively participate in.  The money we raise each year—through sales and sponsorships—all goes to CBIS. While that is great, and needed, the pride the members take in helping with the event really is what makes it special.”

The joy of barbecue knows no bounds. “Barbecue doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, what color your collar is, how fancy the car you drove there is, or who you voted for in the last election,” Buckner says. “Barbecue brings people together. We need a lot more of that these days.” 

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