Linkdown: 6/13/18

– I think this is a pretty big deal. I may be mistaken, but I can’t recall in my 6 years of paying attention Stamey’s advertising their longtime Degar (from central Vietnam) pitmaster Chhanuon Ponn so prominently (though I know they have his photo up in the restaurant).

– Bob Garner’s latest is on Skylight Inn, Bum’s Restaurant, Sam Jones BBQ, and six generations of barbecue in Pitt County:

The owners of The Skylight Inn, Bum’s Restaurant and Sam Jones BBQ all trace their beginnings to common ancestor Skilten Dennis, who began selling barbecue to camp meeting groups around Ayden from the back of a covered wagon sometime in the mid-1800s.

– Huckberry has a short profile on Rodney Scott as well as his banana pudding recipe in their latest catalog

– Garden & Gun writes up Texas A&M’s Barbecue University but they gotta give NC State’s BBQ Camp some love!

– Food writer Peter Meehan (recently of “Ugly Delicious” fame): “Entering a National Barbecue Competition Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time”

I became a guy who was “into barbecue,” which, for as true as it is, is still somewhat painful to type. Talking Heads had told us that day was coming, when you wake up and ask yourself, Well, how did I get here?

(It me)

– Food & Wine on how Jess Pryles became a hardcore carnivore

– Food & Wine also features several other women of barbecue in their latest issue: Pat Mares of Ruby’s BBQ in Austin and Laura Loomis of Two Bros BBQ in San Antonio

– Food Republic: “Do yourself a favor this summer and learn to properly barbecue tofu”
Me: “I’m good”

– Daniel Vaughn remembers Anthony Bourdain

Barbecue Bros Book Club: The One True Barbecue by Rien Fertel

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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.

IMG_8196A collection of profiles on whole hog pitmasters throughout the southeast, “The One True Barbecue” by Rien Fertel is an enjoyable if not somewhat controversial read. In particular, Fertel ruffled feathers with his chapters on Wilber Shirley and Ed Mitchell. He portrayed the former’s restaurant as a joint with a racial division of labor between the front of the house and the back and the latter as a marketing gimmick in overalls that cooks hogs in a non-traditional manner (hot and fast rather than the traditional low and slow). However fair Fertel’s representation may or may not be (and he is but one man with his opinion), the fact that he spoke with neither for the purposes of this book only added more embers to the burn barrel.

Fertel ties the profiles together through narrative, following his path from New Orleans to the Carolinas and back, with even a stop in Bushwick to visit Arrogant Swine. Each chapter not only explores the pitmaster(s) themselves but in some cases the history of an entire town with Ayden, NC and its two joints Skylight Inn and Bum’s. He particularly favors Scott’s-Parker’s Barbecue in Lexington, TN, visiting with pitmaster Ricky Parker in the first chapter and then his sons after his death in the last chapter. In between, Fertel visits 12 other whole hog joints in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, and the aforementioned Arrogant Swine in NY.

I enjoyed Fertel’s writing and found this to be a quick read that I devoured over just a few sittings. Fertel cut his teeth writing oral histories for The Southern Foodways Alliance, and his experience writing on southern food showed. A small complaint would be that the only color photographs are confined to a section at the center of the book – I would have loved to see them throughout as opposed to the smaller black and white ones within the chapters. In any case, I can’t recommend “The One True Barbecue” enough.

Monk

Linkdown: 12/10/14

– Charlotte gets a new barbecue spot in Improper Pig, located in Cotswold, and it looks like they will be doing a little bit of everything

Here, they’re doing ‘cue, in what they’re calling a “portal to the barbecue explorer’s world.” That means it’s got St. Louis-style ribs in addition to the pulled pork and chicken and brisket, plus Southern egg rolls (sweet potato hash mixed with collards, with spicy mustard), Korean barbecue salmon, a “no pig” portobello sandwich…

– Speaking of new barbecue restaurants, Asheville is getting a new one in Bonfire Barbecue next spring that will be using a wood-assisted Southern Pride gas smoker (the article conflates the two, but to me, a Southern Pride is a gasser at heart)

– For the brisket lover on your Christmas gift list, here’s some leather butcher’s coasters

– A Wilson, NC man with ALS is planning to go to Franklin Barbecue as part of his bucket list and will be ordering the brisket and ribs (via)

– Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ has an interview with Adam Perry Lang, who is currently working on a barbecue project in Los Angeles

– The latest stops on Marie, Let’s Eat!’s “circumnavigation” through eastern NC: Jack Cobb & Son Bar-B-Q in Farmville, Bum’s Restaurant in Ayden, Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, and B’s Barbecue in Greenville

– Our State profiles Chapel Hill’s The Pig in their latest issue

The Pig belongs to Sam Suchoff, who is a 33-year-old California dude — pertinent facts, both of these. California dude is pertinent because seriously? California? And 33 because I’ve eaten barbecue older than that. He is, by far, the youngest cook I’ve met on this expedition. It’s fitting, though, and necessary, because if our children’s children’s children are going to be eating barbecue in the year 2525, someone from Generation Y is going to have to keep the pit fires burning.

– Robert Moss’ latest blog post is how to spot a wood burner; spoiler alert: the woodpile (and size thereof) gives it away

– Looks like the Buxton Hall crew was doing some research in eastern NC last week:

– If you are in Charlotte Thursday, The Great NC BBQ Map will be at the All Arts Market in NoDa

Linkdown: 4/9/14

– The first three reviews from Marie, Let’s Eat!’s epic NC barbecue roadtrip last month have been posted: Red Bridges in ShelbyWink’s King in Salisbury, and Lexington #1

– As beef prices rise, more and more Texas pitmasters are turning to pork

– Ranucci’s Big Butt BBQ, Grand Champions of the 2013 Q-City BBQ Competition, is hoping to crowdsource a portion of their new food truck

– Thrillist’s list of best barbecue in Atlanta

– The latest Carolina ‘Cue Restaurant featured in Our State Magazine is Bum’s Restaurant in Ayden

– JJ’s Red Hots is having a Bacon Beer & BBQ dinner on April 24 as part of NC Beer Month

A short article on SC’s Barbecue Trail (via bbqboard)

– Mission BBQ, a military and first responder-focused Baltimore-based chain created by an Under Armour founder, opened earlier this week in Wilmington

– Another (more promising sounding) coastal barbecue restaurant, Southport Smokehouse BBQ, is opening sometime this month:

Natives of Lexington – a town some would argue is North Carolina’s barbecue ground zero – the Hemphills’ restaurant specialized in pork shoulders cooked over hickory logs “imported” from Davidson County. The pits, Elaine Hemphill said, were modeled after those at the famous Lexington Barbecue along Interstate 85 Business.

A trio of restaurateurs, Troy Knight, Jim Sparks and Ryan Salley (who will serve as pitmaster) has taken over the spot and are returning it to its roots. They’ll offer brisket, ribs and pulled pork with both Lexington-style and vinegar sauces cooked over hickory. Salley said he’ll mostly be smoking shoulders, a hallmark of the upstate variety, but would occasionally go whole hog, the more traditional method in the Eastern region.

– Scott’s BBQ is having their annual picnic on April 19 and oh how I wish I could make it back down to Hemingway for it