Monk: A few months back, I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate on a barbecue roundtable at the NC State BBQ Camp by Dana Snow, professor of Food Science at NC State. Considering I am both a NC State grad and a barbecue aficionado, I could think of no greater honor and accepted immediately.
The camp itself was early last month, and on day 2 I arrived shortly before the roundtable during a break in the camp. And to my surprise, they had beer! It had been at least 15 years since I had drank a beer on campus at State (not counting football games of course), so I was in a great frame of mind ahead of the roundtable discussion underneath the big tent.
The roundtable was moderated by the great Bob Garner and joining me on the panel was Joe Beasley of Haywood Smokehouse in the Asheville/Waynesville area as well as Tripp Hursey, the great grandson of the Hursey family that runs the Hursey’s Bar-B-Que restaurants in Alamance Count. While those guys could provide the perspective of owning and running a barbecue restaurant, I was on there to give a different perspective as a barbecue blogger.
Bob kicked off the panel by prompting each of the panelists question or two about our experiences before opening it up to the campers. I recounted the story of how Speedy, Rudy, and I got the idea for the blog in 2012 and also told stories of how Mrs. Monk puts up with my barbecue obsession. I may look a bit pensive and anxious in the photos that Mrs. Monk captured from the discussion, but once I got going I felt more and more comfortable (the couple of beers also helped). Unfortunately, after about 40 minutes a downpour came and made it extremely hard to hear any discussion under the tent so Bob made the executive decision to call it in favor of a happy hour before the pig pickin’. More beer!
And to my surprise, the two beers on tap were both beers made on campus. And a sour at that! Predictably, the sour was not for everyone and most campers went for the Wolfpack Pilsner. Oh well – more sour for me. Soon enough, it was time for the pig pickin’ and a huge 200 lb porker that had been smoked offsite more than ably fed all of the 30 or so campers plus the 10-15 or so guests. Being in this part of the state, it was of course served eastern style with a vinegar sauce and white slaw. And it tasted amazing. Finally, for dessert peach cobbler with Howling Cow (the ice cream made on campus) capped off the meal perfectly.
It truly was an honor to participate in this year’s NC State BBQ Camp. Big thanks to Dana Snow for the invite and hopefully I can participate again next year.
– Oh yeah?!? Well, um, no one eats barbecue to be healthy so…
– Bob Garner gets a bit existential in his latest column: What happened to barbecue?
That’s why your traditional view is what I argued in my 1995 first book. It sold a ton of copies in hardback, far more than any of my subsequent books, and nearly all of them were sold in-state.
But, I have to accept that “North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time” is now out of print. We can only visit the memory and greatness of those places at Rocky Mount’s park display commemorating the city’s barbecue heritage.
I could insist on continuing to scribble history books many people won’t buy. Not many among them seem to read history any longer. Doomed to repeat it? I don’t know.
– WRAL’s list of best barbecue in the Triangle dubiously contains two chain restaurants
– Four NC pitmasters, including Adam Hughes of Old Colony Smokehouse in Edenton, will compete on Chopped Grill Masters in an episode airing August 7
– Delish’s 15 best barbecue festivals in the USA includes The Barbecue Festival in Lexington
– Say it ain’t so, Dave. Say it ain’t so.
– The Washington Post food writer Tim Carman managed to find a new angle on a Rodney Scott profile
– I was honored to participate in a barbecue roundtable at the NC State BBQ Camp last weekend (more on that in the coming weeks); here’s a writeup from the alumni magazine from last year’s edition of the camp
– Chapel Hill author D.G. Martin knows his NC eateries (including barbecue), and Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland is his current favorite NC restaurant
– Forbes says that Bulleit Rye is the best pairing with eastern NC vinegar sauce; check out the other bourbon/whiskey pairings here
– Always save room for dessert
– Buxton Hall and Picnic have two of the best fried chicken sandwiches in NC
– Robert Moss with a nice primer on barbecue styles
It’s confirmed: Monk will be a guest panelist in a round table discussion at the NC BBQ Camp at NC State’s campus in June. As an alumni, he couldn’t be more pumped to be invited to take part. The discussion on barbecue will be led by Bob Garner and feature other (to be announced) guest barbecue panelists.
Here’s a short video from last year’s edition of the camp. Can’t wait to get back to Raleigh in just a few months!
Why is barbecue delicious? NC State’s annual BBQ Camp answers this question and more, giving an education in the science of low ’n’ slow.
– Thanks to Feedspot for including us on this list of best barbecue blogs!
– Registration for NC State’s Barbecue Camp is now open (hint hint, Mrs Monk)
– The details on John Mueller’s new barbecue food truck, Black Box Barbecue
– The latest barbecue roadtrip book is from Matt Moore, a genre I happen to love
– Not a good look for the Garner Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q, whose employees sang “F— Tha Police” at some local police officers
– The latest barbecue list, this time from Southern Living and its barbecue editor Robert Moss
– Robert Moss provides some backstory to the feature
– Moss also talks to the Wilmington Star-News about both types of NC slaw (with recipes, too)
– Moss has been a busy guy, apparently; here’s his article An Illustrated History of Barbecue which is presumably a shortened, illustrated version of his book we just reviewed
– And coverage of the list: Carolinas do OK, Three Triad Joints Make the List, Southern Mag Snubs Houston,
– Munchies: Why is Brooklyn Barbecue Taking Over the World?
…Brooklyn pitmasters tend to be less traditional than their counterparts in the South. They don’t really follow any single barbecue philosophy and aren’t so focused on beef brisket, like most of Texas tends to be. They may include items like house-cured pastrami or pork ribs or burnt ends. Most use heritage animals—free-range and hormone free—from small family farms within the region.
But now it’s spreading, very quickly and without warning, to every fucking corner of the world. The barbecue being assimilated in places like Colombia, Spain, Panama, Sweden, England, and Japan (and even other parts of the US) is not the killer ‘cue from fabled Texas BBQ cities like Lockhart or Austin. Or even the pork-centric versions with sauce in the southeast. It’s an adapted form of Southern barbecue from Brooklyn. And it all looks like it came straight out of Williamsburg.
– Franklin Barbecue clarifies its policy that line waiters cannot save spots for groups of people
– I didn’t catch wind of this event so missed it from mid May, but making a note for next year: barbecue camp at NC State
– This NPR Food article on famed pitmasters resting, or “holding”, smoked meats for hours before serving also includes tips for the home smoker
– Queen City Q won the Taster’s Choice Award for dinner entrée at this past weekend’s Taste of Charlotte
– Giving a whole other meaning to barbecue hash, the owner/operator of Smokey’s BBQ in Dallas, NC charged for selling marijuana in and around his restaurant
– The NCAA recently allowed unlimited snacks for “student-athletes” and this article runs down the best advantages gained by schools due to local cuisine (many of which are not coincidentally barbecue)
NC State: The Wolfpack will attempt to turn the ACC’s best prospects away from Tallahassee by offering unlimited whole hog barbecue and vinegar-based sauce from The Pit in Raleigh. The toughest recruiting battles on Tobacco Road will be between NC State and North Carolina, which will attempt to lure recruits with fried chicken-and-cheddar biscuits from Chapel Hill’s Time-Out (available 24 hours a day, of course).
– A Barbecue Bros hometown joint gets a shout out from The Great NC BBQ Map
– Is Durham becoming a barbecue mecca? BBQ Jew thinks so.
– The Barbecue Bros tend to stay out of political debates and focus on barbecue, but this final paragraph in a story about last night’s debate of GOP candidates for Senate in NC caught our eye
In a lightning round at the end of the debate, the candidates were asked to pick their favorite style of North Carolina barbecue. Three picked Lexington, which is built around a vinegar-based red sauce.
“I love it all,” said Tillis, smiling coyly.
– The latest stops on Marie, Let’s Eat!’s epic NC barbecue road trip finds him in Hill’s Lexington Barbecue in Winston-Salem, Deano’s in Mocksville, and Carolina Bar-B-Q in Statesville; gotta say I’ve definitely enjoyed reading about Grant’s NC travels (barbecue-related and not) the past few weeks