Not that we’re anywhere close to being qualified enough to evaluate books but more so as a public service announcement we will periodically discuss barbecue and barbecue-related books.
Monk: Two of the most highly anticipated barbecue books of the year came out within a few weeks of each other, with “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie coming out first on March 16 followed by Adrian Miller’s “Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue” on April 27.
The first half of Rodney’s book is all memoir, recounting his origins in tiny Hemingway, SC working at Scott’s Bar-B-Que the family barbecue restaurant and convenience store. The story of how he got from there to co-owning Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston, Birmingham, and Atlanta (with two more Alabama locations planned just this year) is fairly well worn territory if you’ve heard an interview or watched Netflix’s “Chef’s Table: BBQ.” What’s not as familiar or well-known is Scott’s current family dynamic, particularly with his father Roosevelt “Rosie” Scott.
In sometimes painful detail, Scott and Elie describe how the breakdown of their relationship started with some mistrust as a result of Scott’s budding barbecue celebrity. Even though all of his work and travel was on behalf of the family business, false accusations and rumors began to circulate in their small town. And that ultimately led to a severing of his relationship with his father and Scott departing for Charleston and starting his budding barbecue restaurant empire. His current relationship with both his father and mother is nonexistent as of the writing of this book and the press tours he’s done this spring.
The book is written in Scott’s voice, which can surely be attributed to Elie’s help. Scott’s mantra is “Every Day is a Good Day” and that blue skies philosophy is clear when reading his writing. A cookbook written by Scott himself was surely a draw, but adding in an accomplished writer such as Elie only added to the appeal. Lolis wrote a seminal text in “Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country” back in 2005, a book that has been on my radar for quite some time.
The second half of the book is all recipes, starting with how to set up and smoke a whole hog on a cinder block pit in great detail (similar to what Sam Jones and Elliot Moss described in their respective books). From there, it’s all Scott’s menu and point of view, informed by his Pee Dee South Carolina origins.
While Adrian Miller’s “Black Smoke” traced the history and contributions of African Americans to barbecue’s history, Scott’s book actually makes some history of its own, being the first barbecue book by a black pitmaster/chef ever (think about that). “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” is a must read barbecue book that gives you just as much insight into the man behind the barbecue empire as well as his food.
Monk: I don’t think a lot of secrets are actually spilled on this appearance by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Lolie on The Dave Chang show, other than you probably can’t cook Rodney Scott-level barbecue if you aren’t the man himself. The hour goes by quickly and its a great conversation nonetheless from guys who are clearly friends off microphone.
Description: Dave and Chris are joined by legendary pitmaster Rodney Scott and food historian Lolis Elie to discuss the wonderful world of whole-hog barbecue.
This week marks the one year anniversary of the lockdown due to COVID-19. However, with the light at the end of the tunnel seemingly in sight (don’t let up now, though!), it’s fun to start thinking about all the things we used to take for granted that we will once again soon be able to do. Things like concerts, having a beer at the bar, lazily perusing the used section at a record store, and perhaps most pertinent, having huge parties centered around smoking and/or grilling.
In this article from Munchies, the author fantasizes about days to come and gives recommendations for smoking and grilling accessories to stock up in advance. He gets a quote from Daniel Vaughn of Texas Monthly (whom he mistakenly refers to as David) about how he plans to smoke a whole hog on cinderblocks in his backyard once its safe to do so and I couldn’t be more in. I have been itching to do it again after my first successful attempt Father’s Day 2019 and I’m now officially in planning mode for that to-be-determined day.
So let it be known: whole hog party at the Monk residence this Fall. Mark it down.
More coverage of The Preserve’s delivery service which began last Friday
Lewis Barbecue officially announces their second restaurant in Greenville, taking over the space previously occupied by Tommy’s Country Ham House. So for folks in the Charlotte area (i.e. me), Lewis’ central Texas-style brisket, hot guts, sausage will be about half the distance you previously had to travel to Charleston. And this is a very good thing. Lewis Barbecue Greenville will open sometime in early 2022.
In addition to the Lewis Barbecue expansion news, it was recently announced that his Juan Luis Tex-Mex concept will take over the former Workshop food hall in Charleston. It was an original food stall tenant at the food hall but recently the trailer had been parked in the courtyard at Lewis Barbecue. Based on these recent moves, Lewis is certainly building the foundation for a food empire in South Carolina.
A sneak peak inside the recently opened Sam Jones BBQ in Raleigh
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