Monk: For this Pitmaster Profile, we are back in Charlotte to speak with Stuart Henderson, head pitmaster at Noble Smoke. I only recently met Stuart but could immediately sense his passion for barbecue. I was happy he agreed to answer some questions so our readers could get to know him a little better. Give him a follow on Instagram and then read our interview below.
If you know of a pitmaster who we should feature next, let us know!
How long have you lived in Charlotte and how did you get here?
I have lived in Charlotte my whole life, besides the years I was in college at Appalachian State University.
How did you become a pitmaster?
By chasing happiness. There was a point in my life after getting sober where I started only doing the things I love. I ended up running an Oyler while waiting on a sous chef position and fell in love with the process. Now, I can’t get enough!
What is your favorite meat to smoke? What type of wood do you prefer?
What are your barbecue influences?
All those who have laid the groundwork for me to work with and continue to develop.
What is your favorite barbecue joint or style?
Barbecue is about community to me. I think it is important to support all Barbecue businesses. With that being said, I feel the atmosphere can be almost as important as the food. I do not discriminate, I like all styles.
What is your earliest memory of barbecue?
Man, I remember family gatherings and pig pickins from way back, I will always remember that first whole hog head!
What is the best thing about barbecue in Charlotte?
We are starting to get some attention. We are serious about barbecue.
What is a weakness or opportunity of barbecue in Charlotte?
Charlotte is a growing city, that hopefully allows for growth in the barbecue community, as well?
Anything else you’d like everyone to know about you?
Never, never, never, give up!