Monk: A fairly wide-ranging state of NC barbecue from News & Observer writer Drew Jackson, who has been very ably covering the barbecue scene in and around Raleigh for the past few years.
Despite the invasive species of brisket coming into the state, there are still a number of places clinging to the NC barbecue tradition, be that eastern whole hog or Lexington-style shoulders (though this story focuses on places east of Durham. Wyatt Dickson, Matt Register, Ronald House (night pitmaster at B’s Barbecue), and Ryan Mitchell are all quoted in the story but of course Sam Jones has the money quote:
Read more at the link:
Lewis Donald is no longer involved with Dish and will be focusing his efforts on Sweet Lew’s BBQ and the Carolina Barbecue Festival going forward
Axios Raleigh releases their Triangle barbecue list
Barbecue Center in Lexington is closing for a week later this month for some hard earned rest and relaxation, so plan accordingly
Hillsborough’s Hog Day festival is the oldest barbecue festival in Orange County and this year will officially be part of the Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship
Jon G’s makes the Yelp Charlotte Top 25 Places to Eat along with…JD’s Smokehouse in Rutherford College near Morganton?
Recently, friend of the blog John Tanner (of John Tanner’s Barbecue Blog) ate his way across the piedmont of North Carolina while making stops on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail in honor of the late Jim Early. Early was the founder of the North Carolina Barbecue Society and driving force behind the NC Historic Barbecue Trail.
Notably, he makes a stop at our friends at Bar-B-Q King in Lincolnton where he delights in the “hollerin’ orders” system and has a great meal. Follow John’s journey below.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s BBQ Bowl Week
Has Texas Brisket Peaked?
Speaking of brisket, Tales from the Pits unveils their top 5 barbecue spots in Texas
Not that we’re anywhere close to being qualified enough to evaluate books but more so as a public service announcement we will periodically discuss barbecue and barbecue-related books.
Monk: Of the barbecue books we’ve covered over the past few years, “Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue” by James Beard Award-winning author and self-proclaimed “Soul Food Scholar” Adrian Miller may just be the most important of them all. In Miller’s approachable writing style, he looks to correct the decades of whitewashing the Black (and even Native American) contribution to the revered American institution of barbecue in a very detailed and heavily researched fashion.
In the first half of his book, Miller corrects the historical narrative starting with Native Americans who laid the foundations of the process of smoking as well as the apparatus to perform it on. Whereas Native Americans were not widely enslaved, that is unfortunately where the Black contribution begins. Miller traces from the slave origins to the rise of the Black barbecue specialists who sometimes did the work without the credit of white barbecue men all the way to the modern black restaurant entrepreneurs like Henry Perry, the “Barbecue King” of Kansas City, Walter Jones of Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna, AR, and Jack Patillo of Beaumont, TX.
While the first half deals with the past, the second half explores the current climate as it relates to where African Americans sit in regards to restaurants, sauces, competitions and also looks ahead to the future of black barbecue. Rodney Scott, former Top Chef contestant Kenny Gilbert, and Ed and Ryan Mitchell are profiled in depth while Miller takes a pulse of barbecue recognition today through the efforts of other historians and writers such as Michael Twitty and Howard Conyers. Ultimately, he ends in a hopeful place.
Speaking of in-depth profiles, a minor complaint is that they oftentimes come mid-chapter (some times even mid-sentence) without warning or color coding. Once I became accustomed to how they were used, I found that I usually just skipped past and then came back after I finished the chapter. They are important and oftentimes covered newly discovered Black barbecue figures (such as Marie Jean of Arkansas or John “Doc” Hamilton of Seattle) but I wish they were utilized a little differently.
Bravo to Adrian Miller on writing a comprehensive history of the Black contribution to American barbecue. “Black Smoke” is a must read for not only those interested in barbecue history but also American history.
Southern Living Magazine, their barbecue editor Robert Moss, Home Team BBQ, and Swig & Swine recently announced the Holy Smokes barbecue festival in Charleston this November. The pitmasters are still to be announced, but expect folks from South Carolina, California, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Texas are expected to be in attendance. Here’s hoping it becomes a fixture for years to come.
Congrats to Lyttle Bridges Cabiness of Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby for her induction into the Barbecue Hall of Fame
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