Anthony Bourdain’s “A Cook’s Tour” Featuring the “Triangle of BBQ”

Monk: Before “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown”, Anthony Bourdain’s first food travelogue show was “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network. In the second season, he visited Texas, Kansas City, and NC – which he refers to as “the barbecue triangle” – and explored barbecue culture for what may have been his first time (at least on recorded camera). The NC section (starts at 15:29) visits with Ed Mitchell at his old joint in Wilson to explore eastern NC whole hog barbecue, one of his first barbecue loves.

Description: BBQ is the classic American food that’s featured in Kansas City, Houston, and North Carolina. The #1 food writer and television presenter in the world, and star of Travel Channel and CNN, Anthony Bourdain reinvented the food travel genre. In his groundbreaking first television series, Bourdain travels around the world indulging his taste for local cuisine and eccentric characters. You never know what he’ll say, who he will meet, or what they will have for dinner.

Linkdown 11/16/22 – The BBQ Bowl Victory Tour Edition

Monk: The second edition of the NC East/West BBQ Bowl took place this past weekend between Gardner-Webb University and Campbell. And Gardner-Webb Bulldogs held on just enough to come out victorious with a 42-35 dub.

GWU QB Bailey Fisher had a monster game, throwing for 3 TDs as well as running for another one, and was named BBQ Bowl MVP.

Fisher was also named the Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

…and WR Caleb Borders was named Freshman of the Week

On their way back to Boiling Springs, the trophy made a few Western NC barbecue stops. First stop: a chopped plate at Lexington Barbecue.

Back in Cleveland County, they made one final stop at Red Bridges after hours.

As mentioned above, the BBQ Bowl win means that Gardner-Webb has the honors of playing for the Big South Football Championship this weekend in Boiling Springs against NC A&T. Good luck to the Bulldogs!

Native News

Barbecue Center‘s winter hours are as follows:

The BBQ Lab – the more civilized cousin of Benson’s Redneck BBQ Lab – is now open in Raleigh’s North Hills

Raleigh’s had two major barbecue openings in as many weeks with Longleaf Swine opening earlier in the month

John Tanner on The Holy Barbecue at the Barbecue Church in Barbecue, NC

Non-Native News

John Tanner checks out the pork from Robertson’s BBQ in Ralph-Fosters, AL and a saucy chopped brisket sandwich at the Buc-ee’s in Leeds

Big upset in Intercollegiate Meat Judging

Shepard Barbecue on “Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives” S42 E34

Link to Shepard Barbecue website, Instagram

Monk: Guy Fieri was on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina earlier this year and checked out relative newcomer Shepard Barbecue in Emerald Isle. Episode 34 of season 42 (!!) actually kicks off with Chef Brandon Shepard, who with his wife Elizabeth started a barbecue joint that draws inspiration from not only eastern NC but of course all over (i.e. Texas).

Brandon, Guy, and his son Hunter kick things off by putting together the Boss Hog sandwich. They start with the prep of jalapeno cheddar sausage made from trimmings of both brisket as well as pork. After a couple of grinds, the sausages are cold smoked for two-and-a-half hours before another 3 at a higher temp. Brandon does all his smoking on a custom offset stick burner using a mixture of hickory, post oak, and pecan.

For his pork butts, he keeps it simple with just a salt and pepper rub and smoked 10 hours. He mixes in his Carolina Vinegar sauce and puts a tray of that away for service.

Back to the Boss Hog, Brandon walks through the making of his Carolina Gold mustard sauce with yellow and Dijon mustards plus his Carolina Vinegar sauce, white vinegar, Worcestershire and a bunch of spices.

For the sandwich, the bun is brushed with beef tallow (!!) and garlic before starting the stack of slaw, sausage, pulled pork, Carolina Gold sauce, pickled red onions to create a behemoth of a sandwich.

Next, onto the “Spicy Heifer,” another big boy of a sandwich made with prime brisket.

The brisket is doused with a mixture of Carolina Gold sauce and pickle juice before covering in salt, pepper, seasoning salt, and granulated garlic. It is then smoked at 225F for 12-16 hours.

Shepard’s red barbecue sauce is a vinegar-based sauce with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Carolina Vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, and other spices before taking a smoke bath.

Shepard then assembles the Spicy Heifer starting with pickles then sausage then brisket then Carolina red sauce and finally topped with pickled jalapenos and white onion. Behold:

Among the house made sides mentioned are Helen’s collards (inspired by his grandmother), pit beans, and street corn salad. Congrats on a great showing by Shepard Barbecue to Brandon and his wife Elizabeth!

Friday Find: John Tanner Has a Delicious Retirement Hobby

Monk: John Tanner has broken into the medium of podcasts having recently joined the AdventuRetired podcast to discuss his barbecue hobby. Definitely worth a listen if you’re as big a fan of John’s barbecue blogging as we are.

Description: John Tanner has a delicious retirement hobby! One so amazing that you just might find Curt hitching a ride to Washington D.C. just to sample it! John Tanner is THE expert of BBQ.  This episode tells how he plans each BBQ trip and how BBQ differs everywhere he travels.  This retired law professor/attorney  has what it takes to be an expert at his craft.  What is better than some savory BBQ and tasty sides while visiting new BBQ joints all over the United States? Not much if you as us!  Hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did…and honey get the car started…I’m hungry!