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.
Matthew and Jessica work with farms in their area and around the state to source the best and freshest seasonal ingredients for their businesses. Matthew works with a young farmer named Caleb Johnson, a graduate of North Carolina State University, and his farm: AJ Family Farms. He will check in with Caleb regularly to see what’s in season, and come up with dishes based on the weather. “I buy whatever he’s got,” Matthew says of Caleb’s farm. “Last week he had beautiful green tomatoes, so we did a corn and green tomato succotash over grits. That’s kind of my approach.”
– Wow, Ed Mitchell’s Que in Durham has closed after less than a year at its American Tobacco Campus location
Mitchell explained that his Durham restaurant did not have any space for private dining for corporate events and only had capacity to cook one whole hog at a time, which was not enough to meet the demands of the restaurant and catering operation. “I fell in love with the space,” said Mitchell, adding that he should have had a better understanding of the space’s limitations compared to his business needs.
Now with the start of a multimillion-dollar project to redevelop areas along either side of the French Broad River, the 12 Bones site may have to make way for a new roundabout that is part of a plan to move Riverside Drive to the west, a city official said Friday. It’s a move that’s being contested by the property’s owner, former Asheville Vice Mayor Chris Peterson.
– More coverage on the upcoming Stonecrest location of Smoke Modern Barbeque, which opened its Huntersville location last week
– The Barbecue Festival received won 3 excellence awards at the 2015 North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events ShowFest conference and trade show held in Charlotte on Jan. 24 and 25
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