Friday Find: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Ed Mitchell

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.

Friday Find: Smoking on the Southside

Chicago barbecue is a less heralded style of barbecue that has origins in the American South but is only found in the southside of Chicago. Primarily rib tips (a remnants of a St. Louis cut rib) and sausage links, they are smoked in a steel and glass “aquarium” smoker that allows for year-round smoking in the harsh Chicago winters. I’ll link to another podcast next week with more on this style of barbecue but for now, here’s a short podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy podcast.

Barbecue purists from the Carolinas to Texas might balk at the notion that Chicago, Illinois, has a barbecue tradition all its own. But owing to the Great Migration, and to a special piece of equipment called the aquarium smoker, reporter-producer Ambriehl Crutchfield finds that Chicago barbecue has evolved into a style unto itself.

Link to episode