In this conversation, Dave Chang focuses on how Franklin has become a shokunin, or master craftsman, for barbecue. In addition to the usual barbecue talk, Chang also asks Franklin a lot of questions about the hospitality that Franklin shows everyone that comes to Franklin Barbecue and how hard it was for him to step away from being in the restaurant almost 22 hours day.
In 2009, when Aaron Franklin and his wife, Stacy, opened up a barbecue trailer on the side of a highway in Austin, Texas, they had no idea it would snowball into one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in the nation. But Franklin Barbecue wouldn’t have become what it is without Aaron’s unwavering commitment to hard work and dedication. A decade removed from the Austin institution’s humble beginnings, Dave speaks with the world-class pitmaster from the Uber Eats House during SXSW about transfusing love and care into cooking, making an intentional effort to maintain work-life balance, and growing the restaurant through failure.
Lolis Elie, a food writer and critic who wrote the barbecue road trip book Smokestack Lightning, joins David Chang on his podcast for a wide-ranging conversation on food and identity, only a short portion of which discusses barbecue. It’s a good conversation between Chang (who is really coming into his own as a podcaster) and the ever-thoughtful Elie.
People have subjective definitions when it comes to quality, and food is no exception. To compare one genre of food to another often requires nuance and context, making the whole endeavor that much more difficult. Dave speaks to writer and food critic Lolis Elie about how to evaluate food with care and respect.
More content from Charleston Wine and Food Festival from the Tales from the Pits guys. A lot of familiar ground on Rodney Scott, with a little more focus on his recent expansion to Birmingham and any potential future expansion plans he has. Lots more podcasts to come from Tales from the Pits from the festival.
Rodney Scott grew up cooking whole hogs at his family’s general store in the small town of Hemingway, South Carolina. The tradition of hogs cooked under the direct heat of coals burned down from wood splits was the way Rodney learned to cook and still utilizes today.
As food media began to take notice of the whole hog traditions being carried on by Rodney, Hemingway would see an increase in tourists coming to try he and his family’s barbecue. Over the course of time Rodney would meet and become friends with Nick Pihakis, who encouraged Rodney to come to Charleston to open his own place. Rodney Scott’s BBQ opened in 2016 to huge success and acclaim. The city of Charleston embraced his barbecue traditions and in 2018 he became only the second pitmaster to win an acclaimed James Beard chef award.
Rodney and the Pihakis Restaurant Group continue to grow the Rodney Scott’s BBQ brand and spread more whole hog greatness across the country, the latest installment being the opening in early 2019 of a new location in Birmingham, Alabama.
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!
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.
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
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
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.”
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.