|Born||July 20, 1964(age 45)
|Cooking style||Barbecue, Memphis-style|
Patrick "Pat" Neely (born July 20, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan, according to the Neelys episode of Chefography) is a restaurateur, television personality, and author. He is the co-owner of Neely's Bar-B-Que restaurant in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. He and wife Gina host a popular Food Network television program named Down Home with the Neelys and Road Tasted with the Neelys. The pair also co-wrote a cook book. Down Home became the highest rated show within the "In the Kitchen" series, which appear on weekend mornings.
Neely is also a part of the first family of Memphis barbecue.
Pat, age 45, and Gina (née Ervin), age 43, dated in high school. They reportedly rekindled the romance at their 10 year high school reunion. They married in 1994 and have two daughters: Spenser (age 20), Gina's daughter from a previous marriage (as mentioned by Pat in the book Down Home with the Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook), and Shelbi (age 14). This is the second marriage each for Pat and Gina.
In 1988, Neely and three of his brothers (Gaelin, Tony, and Mark) opened a barbecue restaurant in downtown Memphis. They were aided by their uncle, Jim Neely, a legend on the Memphis barbecue scene and owner of Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que. Jim's sister, Beverly Neely (Pat's aunt), is owner of Jay-Bee's Bar-B-Que in Gardena, California, and her son, Curtis Williams(Pat's cousin), is the general manager. Jay-Bee's was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
After a while, the restaurant emerged from behind the shadows of their uncle. Pat and his brothers began to gain their own notoriety, appearing on local TV in Memphis.
The restaurant has thrived. According to their website, there are now four Neely’s Bar-B-Que locations: two in Memphis (downtown and Mt. Moriah neighborhood), and two in Nashville (including one at Nashville International Airport). On July 9, 2008, the Mt. Moriah location caught fire.
In August 2008, they acquired a 2,000 square foot space in mid-town Memphis slated to be a corporate headquarters.
In 2008, their cousin (Jim Neely's son) opened Ken Neely's Hickory Bar-B-Que in Memphis.
Neely and wife Gina host two shows on Food Network, Down Home with the Neelys and Road Tasted with the Neelys. Down Home began airing in February 2008. Food Network personality Paula Deen helped the pair get their first show. During the summer of 2006, her sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen, featured the Neely's Bar-B-Que Nashville location on their show Road Tasted. In September 2006, Paula ate at the Neely's downtown Memphis restaurant and was impressed. In January 2007, the Neelys were invited to appear on Paula's Party.
The Neelys filmed the sixth season of Down Home, which airs seven days a week on the Food Network. Following the success of Down Home, the Neelys took over the Road Tasted show from the Deen brothers in July 2008, which was then changed to Road Tasted with the Neelys.
Pat and Gina have written their first cookbook "Down Home with the Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook". It is also co-written by Paula Disbrowe, with the foreword written by Paula Deen. It was released in May 2009 and published by Knopf.