Congrats to the first class of Kingsford Charcoal’s Preserve the Pit Fellowship. If you recall, the winners of this inaugural class will receive a “grant along with immersive training and one-on-one mentorship with industry leaders throughout 2021 to turn their business aspirations into a reality.” And it’s an impressive list of mentors from which they’ll get advice: Kevin Bludso, Dr. Howard Conyers, Devita Davison, Bryan Furman, Rashad Jones and Amy Mills. I look forward to seeing what happens for each of these fellows as a result of this direct mentorship. The winners ae:
- Cory & Tarra Davis – Grand Rapids, Mich.: Owners of Daddy Pete’s BBQ since 2012, Cory and Tarra Davis have a passion for barbecue that they share with their friends, family and community. Through the fellowship, their goal is to build a stronger foundation for their business operations to ensure their restaurant continues to successfully operate beyond their generation.
- Chef Shalamar Lane – Carson, Calif.: As the head chef and owner of My Father’s Barbeque, Shalamar brings southern hospitality to California by using delicious barbecue as a way to bring people together. As a result of the mentorship, she hopes to improve her management skills to further her business’ success and continue to teach her employees and community about the history of barbecue.
- Ronald Simmons – Kenansville, N.C.: Ronald and his family own Master Blend Family Farms, LLC, which provides whole hogs and premium pork products to restaurants and private owned businesses in his community. They’ve hosted farm tours in collaboration with several local schools and hope to transition one of the farms, which has been in the family for over a century, into a farm school and develop a whole hog barbecue station to share their heritage of barbecue and create a path of opportunity for future generations.
And in more good news, the response to the initial call for fellows was so overwhelming that an additional 10 pitmasters were selected to receive a one-time $7,500 grant. Those winners are:
- Melissa Cottingham – Melnificent Wingz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
- Aaron Gonerway – Plates By the Pound BBQ (Denver, Colo.)
- Pamela Henry – Pam’s Magic Cauldron (Smyrna, Ga.)
- Daniel Hammond – Smoky Soul Barbecue Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
- Brandon Norman – Memphis Original BBQ (Atoka, Tenn.)
- Demetris R. – Making The CuTX (Newport, Vt.)
- Erica Roby – Blue Smoke Blaire (Dayton, Ohio)
- Christopher Simmons – The Qulinary Oasis BBQ (DeSoto, Texas)
- Gerald Vinnett – Big Papi’s Smokehouse (Destrehan, La.)
- Eddie Wright– Eddie Wright BBQ (Jackson, Miss.)
Newly drafted Chiefs WR Cornell Powell will remain an Eastern Carolina boy at heart: “All I’m going to say is that I haven’t been to Kansas City and had their barbecue yet but, I have North Carolina barbecue number 1 right now,” said Powell.
Despite the shaky opening to his article, D.G. Martin pays tribute Backyard BBQ Pit and Grady’s BBQ, who both were featured in “Black Smoke”
Grady’s BBQ get a brief profile in the blog Because of Them We Can
Sam Jones’ Whole Hog BBQ book is listed as one of Huckberry’s “6 Barbecue Books for the Budding Pitmaster”
John Tanner visits Ace Biscuit & Barbecue for both a lunch a well as breakfast
…he also checks out Beale’s Brewery, who smokes wood the old fashioned way and were conferred True ‘Cue status by John
Rodney Scott continues the publicity tour of his recent book
Houston is the best city in the country for barbecue...at least in terms of the number of barbecue restaurants on TripAdvisor
New sign for la Barbecue
RIP Scot Hudson of Hudson’s Hickory House BBQ of Douglasville, GA