Friday Find: Tales from the Pits Post-Charleston Wine and Food Festival

I got major FOMO listening to this podcast of the Tales from the Pit guys rundown of their 5 days in Charleston earlier this month. Total FOMO. I will definitely have to try to make it out next year.

There are so many amazing events that take place during the five day Charleston Wine + Food (CHSWFF) festival and we were fortunate to be granted media access to many of them. From whiskey-centric experiences to barbecue excursions, we did our best to take in all of the sights and sounds of this incredible culinary opportunity.

This episode will give you a rundown of all of the events we covered as well as some food and drink highlights from each. We were fortunate to get to spend time with some amazing barbecue talents such as Rodney Scott, Sam Jones, Jonathan and Justin Fox, John Lewis, Anthony DiBernardo, and many more.

We’ve got some exciting interviews that we’ll be posting in the coming weeks from these events, so stay tuned for those. A special thanks to Alyssa Maute Smith and the entire Charleston Wine + Food team for putting together such an outstanding collection of unbelievable events and excursions. Be sure to follow CHSWFF on social media to get tickets for next year’s events when they are announced!

Friday Find: Tyson Ho Talks Carolina Barbecue on the Beards, Booze, and Bacon Podcast

While I had previously enjoyed Tyson Ho’s series of blog posts on Serious Eats entitled “How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn” documenting the opening of Arrogant Swine. I also enjoyed meeting him at the restaurant in 2015. However, I would quibble with a few of the things he says on this podcast:

  • He continually refers to whole hog barbecue as “Carolina” style which isn’t completely accurate. Ho is smoking eastern North Carolina style whole hog barbecue, which is similar as the style of barbecue from the Pee Dee region of SC. And of course there is Lexington-style which just smokes pork shoulders. There really is no singular style of barbecue called “Carolina Barbecue” that is only whole hog as he asserts.
  • He refers to “outside brown” as the “burnt ends” of pork and says its an off menu item. It’s not really – its just the bark from the pork shoulders in Lexington-style barbecue which locals know to ask for extra in Lexington joints. Not to mention that there’s actually a thing as “pork burnt ends” which is just cubed smoked pork belly tossed in sauce.
  • I’m not a big barbecue competition circuit guy but I wonder how accurate his classification of KCBS vs Memphis Barbecue Network competitions are when he says that KCBS contestants are way too serious where Memphis just wants to party

Regardless, I do appreciate Tyson Ho preaching the gospel of NC barbecue (both eastern and Lexington-styles, serving both at his restaurant) when the trend in barbecue for the past few years is all about Texas and brisket.

Having been born in New York, Ho wanted to know: Who makes the best barbecue in the country. This set him on a quest that would take him across the country, but he realized one thing soon. To him, the best barbecue was that from the Tar Heel State. After spending time learning from legendary pitmasters, Ho took his newfound knowledge and skills back to New York and opened Arrogant Swine.

But what actually makes North Carolina the best barbecue in the country? (Note: The editors do not agree on this point.) What even constitutes true North Carolina barbecue? Want to know where to get that barbecue and fulfill all of your porcine desires? Well, you’re in the right place. ‘Cue this episode up and prepare to be hungry.

Friday Find: Barbecue Photographer Wyatt McSpadden on the Tales from the Pit Podcast

Wyatt McSpadden, whose excellent book “Texas BBQ, Small Town to Downtown” (our review here) came out last fall, recently joined the Tales from the Pits podcast to discuss how he came into his job of photographing so many barbecue joints for Texas Monthly and why he came out with another Texas BBQ photograph book less than 10 years after his first one was published in 2009.

Wyatt McSpadden’s love of Texas barbecue stretches back even further in time than his celebrated photography career which spans five decades. Growing up in a meat market family in Amarillo some of Wyatt’s earliest memories involve barbecue. As a young man his hobby of photography began growing into a passion that evolved into a profession.

In our interview with Wyatt we cover his early days photographing the construction of the famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, the beginnings of his BBQ photography, up to present day with the release of his latest book, Texas BBQ, Small Town to Downtown, and all points in between. Wyatt has witnessed historic moments in Texas barbecue firsthand including the splitting of the Kreuz/Smitty’s businesses in Lockhart, and his career has seen the advancements in both the meat quality of the barbecue produced and the many advancements in technology that have changed the photography world. Like the transition of film to digital, the Texas Barbecue scene has evolved.

Both of Wyatt’s books are must-own items for barbecue lovers and are available at all major retailers. Wyatt’s portraits of both the food and the people that cook it are beautifully laid out in these books designed by Nancy McMillan

Friday Find: David Dawei NC BBQ Tour: Parker’s Barbecue

We’ve previously featured David Dawei’s NC barbecue videos from B’s Barbecue and Skylight Inn. Here’s his third stop from his barbecue tour from 2017.

This is my Third stop in North Carolina along the BBQ Tour. Parkers’ BBQ is located in Wilson. If you are in the vicinity, definitely stop by. Their family style is the best way to go, so bring lots of friends and a big appetite.

The Pork (as served) was fantastic – 9/10

The Vinegar BBQ Sauces weren’t needed IMO – 7/10

The Cole Slaw was very nice; loved the zing the mustard provided- 9/10

The Potatoes were OK, but I don’t care for Boiled potatoes- 6/10

The Corn Sticks – I did not care for these – 5/10

The Hush Puppies tasted like a plain donut/dessert =8/10

Overall Value = 9.9/10

Friday Find: Kevin Pang interviews Ed Mitchell during BBQ Road Trip ’10

The last of the videos from Kevin Pang’s BBQ Road Trip ’10 (Keith Allen here, Wilber Shirley here), here’s a short conversation from Ed Mitchell back when he was still part of The Pit in Raleigh.

And while Wilber Shirley didn’t take Kevin’s bait on eastern vs Lexington-style, Ed Mitchell answers the question by claiming that smoking a whole hog is the “true heart of barbecue,” albeit after diplomatically saying he’s “never had bad barbecue.”

Friday Find: Kevin Pang interviews Wilber Shirley during BBQ Road Trip ’10

Another video from former Chicago Tribune food writer Kevin Pang during his BBQ Road Trip ’10, this time speaking with Wilber Shirley at Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro. Not the highest audio quality with the background noise of customers and ringing phones, but if you concentrate and focus a little you do get to hear Wilber’s philosophy on whole hog barbecue.

I was glad to see that Shirley doesn’t fan the flames of the Lexington vs eastern NC barbecue wars by diplomatically saying that it really just depends on where you are raised. In these divisive times, it’s good to see people reaching across the aisle when it comes to barbecue.

Friday Find: Kevin Pang interviews Keith Allen during BBQ Road Trip ’10

Kevin Pang, formerly of the Chicago Tribune and now of the AV Club’s food blog The Takeout, took a barbecue road trip from Chicago to the Carolinas and back in 2010 and documented it on the BBQ Roadtrip Tumblr. Here, he interviews Keith Allen of the recently departed Allen and Son Barbecue in Chapel Hill to discuss his philosophy on barbecue.

Side note: I remember devouring this roadtrip blog in on sitting back when we first started our blog. What a cool trip, and I could only wish for someone to pay the Barbecue Bros to take a similar trip.

Friday Find: John Shelton Reed on the Kevin’s BBQ Joints Podcast

The co-founder of True Cue joins the Kevin’s BBQ Joints podcast to give a “city guide” for the entire state of NC.

John Shelton Reed, sociologist and essayist, author or editor of twenty books, most of them dealing with the contemporary American South, guides us through North Carolina for BBQ spots in the major cities as well as way off the beaten path for incredible finds.

BBQ Joints discussed:

Lexington Barbecue: http://www.lexbbq.com

Smiley’s Lexington BBQ: https://bit.ly/2GwQajp

Bridges BBQ Lodge: http://www.bridgesbbq.com

Stamey’s Barbecue: http://stameys.com

Skylight Inn BBQ: http://www.skylightinnbbq.com

Sam Jones BBQ: http://www.samjonesbbq.com

B’s Barbecue: https://bit.ly/2Gu7PrN

Wilber’s Barbecue: http://www.wilbersbarbecue.com

Picnic Durham: http://www.picnicdurham.com

Buxton Hall BBQ: http://www.buxtonhall.com

Southern Smoke BBQ: http://southernsmokebbqnc.com

The Campaign for Real Barbecue: http://www.truecue.org

Contact True Cue: http://www.truecue.org/contact

Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue: https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Smoke-Nor…

NC BBQ Society Trail: http://www.ncbbqsociety.com/bbqmap/tr…

Friday Find: The Smoke Sheet on the Man Meat BBQ Podcast

Link to Podcast

The two co-founders of The Smokesheet, BBQ Tourist and NYC BBQ, joined the Man Meat BBQ podcast to discuss their origin story with barbecue and also assemble their perfect plate of barbecue out of their favorite barbecue bites from across the US.

There is a little bit of cussing at the top, so be warned. Also be warned that the host Mike could have used a cough button. Still, a pretty good conversation between three barbecue enthusiasts.