Doug Psaltis has a busy summer ahead of him. The veteran of New York’s award-winning Country restaurant and Chef/Partner in two new Chicago hotspots, RPM Italian and Bub City, is the headlining barbecue master for the first annual Windy City Smokeout (tickets here) in mid-July. The event will feature food from some of the country’s best BBQ joints as well as cool booze and performances by top country stars. And speaking of music, he took time out of his busy schedule to share the tunes he rocks out to while bringing his favorite outdoor cooking recipes to life. Click below to listen to Psaltis’ top 10 on Spotify.

1. “Pontoon” by Little Big Town
I was recently in Austin, Texas hanging out with some friends and I asked them where they escape when it gets really hot. They said they jump in the river. This song reminds me of them.

2. “Beers Ago” by Toby Keith
Time goes by fast when you’re having fun. I try to live my life to the fullest, but that was a lot of beers ago… or at Bub it would be a lot of whiskey.

3. “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker
This guy is traveling the East Coast finding his way and his girl. What’s not to like?

4. ”Streets on Bakersfield” by Dwight Yoakam
In the words of Mr. Yoakam, “you don’t know me and you don’t like me…” Have you been to Bakersfield, California? Enough said!

5. “Cowboy Song” by Thin Lizzy
This song starts off slow and progresses to a great classic country rock song. Anyone can relate to the lyrics.


Little-known fact: “Ring of Fire” is actually about good barbecue gone bad…

6. “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
One of the best old country songs ever.

7. “Jackson” by Johnny Cash & June Carter
We have Live Band Karaoke every Tuesday at Bub City, and I want to perform this one with my wife.

8. “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard
Isn’t everyone’s mama still trying?

9. “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” by CCR
This song screams summer backyard BBQ.

10. “Willin’  by Little Feat
If this cooking thing ever gets old, I’m going to buy a big rig and live on the road. This will be my theme song.