The Gravy podcast from the Southern Foodway Alliance interviews Ed Mitchell and his son Ryan on the past and the future of their barbecue ventures and how it hasn’t been so easy for a black man to innovate barbecue in eastern NC.
Description: Ed Mitchell’s name has come to be synonymous with Eastern North Carolina wood-smoked whole-hog barbecue. From Wilson, North Carolina, he grew up smoking hogs and has tried to continue that tradition, using old techniques and traditionally farm-raised pigs.
But almost since the start, Ed Mitchell’s barbeque journey has not been a straight line—business relationships, racism, and smoke have all shaped his rollercoaster ride.
Reporter Wilson Sayre is our guide in looking at those twists and turns.
Monk: Ed Mitchell and his son and business partner Ryan joined last week’s episode of The NC Food and Beverage Podcast with Max Trujillo and Matthew Weiss to discuss how Ed got into barbecue, the state of Raleigh barbecue, and The Preserve, their upcoming venture with Lou and Amber Moshakos in the original location of Carolina Ale House. Lou was the restaurateur behind Carolina Ale House and several other brands and Amber is the current president of LM Restaurants.
While we do get some information, I do wish that Ryan hadn’t dominated the conversation so much. There were long stretches of several minutes where it was only Ryan talking, and I think we can all agree that Ed is who everyone wants to hear from. Regardless, let’s hope The Preserve is more successful than their last restaurant, Ed Mitchell’s ‘Que, which closed in 2015 (for the record, we quite liked) and their announced but never opened restaurant in Brier Creek that was to be called Ed Mitchell’s Q.
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.”