Linkdown: 5/5/21

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Congrats to the first class of Kingsford Charcoal’s Preserve the Pit Fellowship. If you recall, the winners of this inaugural class will receive a “grant along with immersive training and one-on-one mentorship with industry leaders throughout 2021 to turn their business aspirations into a reality.” And it’s an impressive list of mentors from which they’ll get advice: Kevin Bludso, Dr. Howard Conyers, Devita Davison, Bryan Furman, Rashad Jones and Amy Mills. I look forward to seeing what happens for each of these fellows as a result of this direct mentorship. The winners ae:

  • Cory & Tarra Davis – Grand Rapids, Mich.: Owners of Daddy Pete’s BBQ since 2012, Cory and Tarra Davis have a passion for barbecue that they share with their friends, family and community. Through the fellowship, their goal is to build a stronger foundation for their business operations to ensure their restaurant continues to successfully operate beyond their generation.
  • Chef Shalamar Lane – Carson, Calif.: As the head chef and owner of My Father’s Barbeque, Shalamar brings southern hospitality to California by using delicious barbecue as a way to bring people together. As a result of the mentorship, she hopes to improve her management skills to further her business’ success and continue to teach her employees and community about the history of barbecue.
  • Ronald Simmons – Kenansville, N.C.: Ronald and his family own Master Blend Family Farms, LLC, which provides whole hogs and premium pork products to restaurants and private owned businesses in his community. They’ve hosted farm tours in collaboration with several local schools and hope to transition one of the farms, which has been in the family for over a century, into a farm school and develop a whole hog barbecue station to share their heritage of barbecue and create a path of opportunity for future generations.

And in more good news, the response to the initial call for fellows was so overwhelming that an additional 10 pitmasters were selected to receive a one-time $7,500 grant. Those winners are:

  • Melissa Cottingham – Melnificent Wingz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Aaron Gonerway – Plates By the Pound BBQ (Denver, Colo.)
  • Pamela Henry – Pam’s Magic Cauldron (Smyrna, Ga.)
  • Daniel Hammond – Smoky Soul Barbecue Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Brandon Norman – Memphis Original BBQ (Atoka, Tenn.)
  • Demetris R. – Making The CuTX (Newport, Vt.)
  • Erica Roby – Blue Smoke Blaire (Dayton, Ohio)
  • Christopher Simmons – The Qulinary Oasis BBQ (DeSoto, Texas)
  • Gerald Vinnett – Big Papi’s Smokehouse (Destrehan, La.)
  • Eddie Wright– Eddie Wright BBQ (Jackson, Miss.)

Native News

Newly drafted Chiefs WR Cornell Powell will remain an Eastern Carolina boy at heart: “All I’m going to say is that I haven’t been to Kansas City and had their barbecue yet but, I have North Carolina barbecue number 1 right now,” said Powell.

Despite the shaky opening to his article, D.G. Martin pays tribute Backyard BBQ Pit and Grady’s BBQ, who both were featured in “Black Smoke”

Grady’s BBQ get a brief profile in the blog Because of Them We Can

Sam Jones’ Whole Hog BBQ book is listed as one of Huckberry’s “6 Barbecue Books for the Budding Pitmaster”

Non-Native News

John Tanner visits Ace Biscuit & Barbecue for both a lunch a well as breakfast

…he also checks out Beale’s Brewery, who smokes wood the old fashioned way and were conferred True ‘Cue status by John

Rodney Scott continues the publicity tour of his recent book

Houston is the best city in the country for barbecue...at least in terms of the number of barbecue restaurants on TripAdvisor

New sign for la Barbecue

RIP Scot Hudson of Hudson’s Hickory House BBQ of Douglasville, GA

Linkdown: 2/3/21

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Shortly after my first visit to Mr. Barbecue in Winston-Salem in March of 2019 (which I greatly enjoyed), a spark caught fire in the pit house and nearly burned the entire restaurant down. Last I had heard, it was on track for a May 2020 opening and brick was being laid in the smokehouse but clearly that didn’t happen as scheduled (which can be excused during a pandemic, of course). Thankfully, the silence was not a bad omen as WXII is reporting that Mr. Barbecue will reopen later this month.

This will be one in the win column for classic, wood-fired NC barbecue joints, a sometimes rare occurrence these days. Of course, Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro came back from the dead last year under new ownership and there are a host of new or announced restaurants that are smoking barbecue the old fashioned way (most of which seem to be in the greater Raleigh area). But more often than not, these older joints are closing (see Allen & Son, Bill Spoon’s, Bill Ellis Barbecue, The Original Q Shack, among others). But not today, Satan. Not today.

Now, just cross your fingers and toes until late February…

Native News

Sam Jones BBQ has finally opened in Raleigh and is currently in a “soft open” mode

Lawrence Barbecue is hosting a Mardi Gras Party on February 16

More on Lagoon, the sister “leisure bar” to Lawrence Barbecue

Bill Ellis Barbecue, which closed 2 years ago, is going on the auction block as part of a parcel of land in Wilson

Another delay for The Preserve; the pop-up from Ed and Ryan Mitchell has been pushed back to March 5 from late January

Big Mike’s BBQ is opening a location in downtown Cary after expanding to Apex last year

Make your own Cheerwine barbecue sauce with Cheerwine syrup

Non-Native News

Smokejack in Alpharetta, GA is a “must-visit” according to The BBQ Review

Moe Cason has announced his plans for a barbecue restaurant in Des Moines, IA, and pulls no punches when it comes to other restaurants in the area

How Franklin Barbecue has adapted to barbecue during a pandemic

Linkdown: 11/4/20

Featured

A trio of John Tanner Barbecue stories on NC barbecue joints – Rick’s Smokehouse, The Barbecue Center, and Midwood Smokehouse – including where I (Monk) was able to meet up with him in Charlotte. I enjoyed a meal with John – he got the pork combo platter and I got the brisket – on the patio at the Park Road location of Midwood Smokehouse a few weeks back on a warm October weekday. John certainly has his bona fides when it comes to barbecue – he is a certified True ‘Cue Inspector for the Virginia and DC Metro area and has an impressive archive of reviews over at John Tanner’s Barbecue Blog – and is an even nicer man to boot. I enjoyed our lunch conversation that ranged from barbecue to NASCAR to John Coltrane. Be sure to check out his blog and like his Facebook page.

Native News

Blues on Franklin gives Chapel Hill a new barbecue option owned by three generation of Tar Heels

QSR Magazine interviews Sam Jones ahead of his Raleigh restaurant opening later this year and some of the challenges faced due to COVID-19

Picnic is selling to-go coolers of barbecue or fried chicken

Non-Native News

Dozier’s BBQ is worth the drive, and in Houston that usually means a lot of driving

Interview with Evan LeRoy of LeRoy & Lewis from Austin 360

In Texas, Thanksgiving means barbecue (much like every other day)

In Texas, bakeries also sell barbecue cookies