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
– Congrats to our neighbors from Memphis in May, The Shed, on their Grand Championship win
– In case you hadn’t heard, Dave Grohl was all up in some Memphis in May this past weekend, particularly at our neighbor’s booth
– Pete’s BBQ in Rock Hill, which has served barbecue during four holidays of the year, is shutting down after 55 years of service after this Memorial Day Weekend; congrats to the 98-year-old Pete Wheele’s on his retirement!
– Raleigh is a favorite away game for this Pittsburgh Penguins blogger in part due to the barbecue
– Eat Raleigh has a short blurb on Sam Jones BBQ at the Thrive NC festival earlier in May
– Is Charleston barbecue slowly taking over the southeast? Both Home Team BBQ (Columbia) and Rodney Scott’s BBQ (Birmingham) announced expansions last week
– All Swig & Swine Charleston-area locations will have $4 sandwiches on May 30 to celebrate 4 years; proceeds will go to Hogs for the Cause
– This NC travel guide from a British paper mentions barbecue (particularly Sam Jones BBQ) as as reason why North Carolina should be your next adventure
– This looks very, very promising
– RIP Mama Dip
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.
– Glad to finally see a new review on Marie, Let’s Eat! for Hugh-Baby’s BBQ and Burger Shop though Grant *gulp* doesn’t order barbecue?!?
– John T. Edge of Garden and Gun also profiled Hugh-Baby’s in their February/March issue
– Meet Chef Kelly Tam, the new-ish pastry chef at Midwood Smokehouse (as well as several other FS Food Group restaurants)
– Buxton Hall Barbecue gets a mention on a Charlotte Five guide to Asheville
– A chef born in Charlotte is part of a trio running Liberty Smokehouse in Falls Church, VA, where they got a favorable review from The Washington Post
– Remember Taylor Hicks? The season 5 winner of American Idol has his own food show and the NC episode featuring barbecue from The Pit aired earlier this week
– Side dishes continue to get better at Texas barbecue restaurants, says Texas BBQ Posse
– R.O.’s Bar-B-Cue, started in 1946, is one of the oldest restaurants in Gaston County
– Smoked whole alligator is on the menu at Black Sugar Rib Company in Los Angelos
– Congrats to Rodney Scott, who received a James Beard nomination for Best Chef: Southeast
– Mmm, dessert!
– Three Charlotte barbecue restaurants make this fries list, including The Improper Pig’s sweet potato waffle fries, Midwood Smokehouse’s pimento cheese fries, and Seoul Food Meat Co.’s kimchi fries
– Bob Garner’s latest for The Daily Reflector waxes poetic on The Angus Barn in Raleigh
– For these cold we’ve been experiencing the past few weeks, Midwood Smokehouse has seven new soups for the soul including the loaded baked potato with pulled pork and brisket and a brunswick stew
– Men’s site The Manual has a podcast on barbecue and booze
Finally, the conversation turns toward what the panel was all waiting for: booze pairings. Slaughter suggests (and the guys all agreed) the best booze pairing for barbecue is a definitely a whisk(e)y with a smokey, peaty flavor. Scotch is possibly the most appropriate since it calls back to the smokiness of the meat. The group also touches on wine pairings, emphasizing that a bolder, heavier, red wine is best, such as a Zinfandel or a Napa Cabernet.
– Bib’s Downtown in Winston-Salem contributed some comfort food recipes for the local Fox affiliate
– Keanu voice: Whoa.
– As good as the man’s barbecue is, at some point you have to wonder if Ed Mitchell’s business sense doesn’t match up; his Raleigh restaurant and food truck are both currently on hold and don’t look to be moving forward anytime soon
– Due to the fire at the old Lexington Home Brands Plant No. 1 and the expected clean-up time, Uptown Lexington has decided to cancel the annual BBQ Capital Cook-off in April
– A new all wood barbecue joint named Meating Street BBQ has opened in Roswell, GA; it was opened by a SC native
– The team behind General Muir in Atlanta are opening a wood-fired barbecue joint called Wood’s Chapel in the Summerhill neighborhood that will smoke whole hog among other meats
– An eastern NC native is now smoking whole hogs in central Virginia as part of a Carolina Q Pig Pickers catering operation
– The Smoking Ho starts 2018 off with a review:
– Fuller’s Old Fashioned Bar-B-Que gets a mention on this post on where to eat in Fayetteville, NC
– In another travel guide (this time from the Chicago Tribune via The Washington Post), both Henry’s Smokehouse and Bucky’s BBQ are mentioned as “100-mile barbeque”
– When there’s a threat of 1-3″ in the forecast in NC:
– A couple of barbecue restaurants make Charlotte Agenda’s Top 50 Charlotte Restaurant rankings, Midwood Smokehouse (#20) and Seoul Food Meat Co (#46)
– Raleigh recently got a new barbecue joint on Glenwood South, Southern Charred
– The barbecue circle of life: JB’s Smokeshack on John’s Island outside of Charleston has been put up for sale after 16 years in business
– A barbecue restaurant makes New Orlean’s top 5 new restaurants of 2017, according to Nola.com
– National Nachos Day may have passed on Monday already, but you can always get the Nachos Libre at Midwood Smokehouse
What to expect: A beast portion of tortilla chips that are topped with diced tomatoes, black beans, smoked corn, cilantro, cheddar, diced jalapenos, queso and a heavy drizzle of spicy habanero sauce with lime sour cream.
– TMBBQ Fest was this past weekend
– Photos from last weekend’s Barbecue Festival in Lexington, where almost 200,000 people made the trip
– More whole hog is coming to Texas in the form of Feges BBQ in Houston
– Meanwhile, in Austin:
– Barbecue vs chili (?): who ya got?
– Bare Bones in Raleigh served their last barbecue this past Sunday