Congrats to the first class of Kingsford Charcoal’s Preserve the Pit Fellowship. If you recall, the winners of this inaugural class will receive a “grant along with immersive training and one-on-one mentorship with industry leaders throughout 2021 to turn their business aspirations into a reality.” And it’s an impressive list of mentors from which they’ll get advice: Kevin Bludso, Dr. Howard Conyers, Devita Davison, Bryan Furman, Rashad Jones and Amy Mills. I look forward to seeing what happens for each of these fellows as a result of this direct mentorship. The winners ae:
Cory & Tarra Davis – Grand Rapids, Mich.: Owners of Daddy Pete’s BBQ since 2012, Cory and Tarra Davis have a passion for barbecue that they share with their friends, family and community. Through the fellowship, their goal is to build a stronger foundation for their business operations to ensure their restaurant continues to successfully operate beyond their generation.
Chef Shalamar Lane – Carson, Calif.: As the head chef and owner of My Father’s Barbeque, Shalamar brings southern hospitality to California by using delicious barbecue as a way to bring people together. As a result of the mentorship, she hopes to improve her management skills to further her business’ success and continue to teach her employees and community about the history of barbecue.
Ronald Simmons – Kenansville, N.C.: Ronald and his family own Master Blend Family Farms, LLC, which provides whole hogs and premium pork products to restaurants and private owned businesses in his community. They’ve hosted farm tours in collaboration with several local schools and hope to transition one of the farms, which has been in the family for over a century, into a farm school and develop a whole hog barbecue station to share their heritage of barbecue and create a path of opportunity for future generations.
And in more good news, the response to the initial call for fellows was so overwhelming that an additional 10 pitmasters were selected to receive a one-time $7,500 grant. Those winners are:
Aaron Gonerway – Plates By the Pound BBQ (Denver, Colo.)
Pamela Henry – Pam’s Magic Cauldron (Smyrna, Ga.)
Daniel Hammond – Smoky Soul Barbecue Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
Brandon Norman – Memphis Original BBQ (Atoka, Tenn.)
Demetris R. – Making The CuTX (Newport, Vt.)
Erica Roby – Blue Smoke Blaire (Dayton, Ohio)
Christopher Simmons – The Qulinary Oasis BBQ (DeSoto, Texas)
Gerald Vinnett – Big Papi’s Smokehouse (Destrehan, La.)
Eddie Wright– Eddie Wright BBQ (Jackson, Miss.)
Newly drafted Chiefs WR Cornell Powell will remain an Eastern Carolina boy at heart: “All I’m going to say is that I haven’t been to Kansas City and had their barbecue yet but, I have North Carolina barbecue number 1 right now,” said Powell.
Despite the shaky opening to his article, D.G. Martin pays tribute Backyard BBQ Pit and Grady’s BBQ, who both were featured in “Black Smoke”
It takes 53 cows per day to keep up with current operations, and these are a special kind of cow. “I even struggle now to get enough [brisket],” he adds. The market is so small that when fast-food chain Arby’s hopped on the brisket trend, it drove up the cost of brisket for Franklin by $2. “We don’t use commodity brisket at all,” he explains. “But once the commodity supply runs out, then people start trying to upgrade, and that’s where we got into trouble.”
– The “metro Greenville, NC” area (LOL) get’s a shoutout in SI’s Andy Staples and his “America’s Best College Town Meals” column; there are also a few other barbecue spots highlighted for other college towns
If you want to really do it right, spoon some of that pork between two pieces of cornbread. The bread lives somewhere between loaf and cake, and a bite that mixes that bread, that pork and those delectable cracklins is about as close to heaven as we can get here on Earth.
Name: Ace Biscuit & Barbecue Date: 7/20/16 Address: 711 Henry Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903 Order: Brisket biscuit, hash browns, and coffee (link to menu) Price: ~$13
Monk: In my barbecue travels, I find Ace Biscuit & Barbecue to occupy a fairly unique niche. Sure you might have those barbecue joints that also serve as southern cafes and while they serve breakfast, its more of your standard fare. This was a legit biscuit place that truly integrates barbecue into their breakfast sandwiches.
Located in the Rose Hill neighborhood just outside of downtown Charlottesville, Ace Biscuit & Barbecue has been there since 2012 and serves breakfast and lunch all day except for Mondays and Tuesdays. It occupies a small brick building where you order at a counter and then sit either at a community table inside or a small outdoor patio off to the side of the building. I arrived late morning with just one other party there, but would be curious as to what kind of regular breakfast crowd they usually have .
I went with the brisket biscuit with my egg over easy in hopes it might quell the headache I received from the previous night’s activities. Before launching in, I took note of the brisket, which appeared to be well-smoked. Later on, I poked my head around the side to see a legitimate burn barrel and the pit where the barbecue was smoked. On their menu, they claim to smoke the brisket over oak and hickory and I could see no reason to not believe it. This being a Wednesday, I don’t know how recently the brisket was smoked (ie was it the night before?) but nonetheless it did not have a rubbery or chewy consistency. Once I bit in, the egg yolk, sauteed onions, and cheese all mixed together and complimented the brisket nicely. Overall this was a successful breakfast sandwich.
The hash browns were well fried but nothing spectacular and disappointingly , my coffee was lukewarm. Could really have used fresh coffee on that morning.
I left Ace Biscuit & Barbecue in slightly better shape than when I arrived, and on another day would have liked to check out some of their other biscuits with rib meat, house pastrami, and fried chicken. It’s definitely worth checking out.