17th Street at the 2015 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party – The Pit Crew

2 Jul

BlockPartyCrew-21Earlier in June, the 17th Street pit crew at the 13th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.

BlockPartyCrew-22And here’s our expanded crew with the addition of extra volunteers — Shane Linn of Townsend Spice, Mike Mrva, Adam Wood, David Bogan, Woody Tunnicliffe, Phillip Heern, me, Mike, Lawson Linn, Tracy Heern, Laurie Neef, Colin Wilkinson, Diana Gremillion, Erik Hernandez, John Hulslander, and Mike Humes. This group operates like a well-oiled machine and they totally rocked it.

BlockPartyCrew-20The event kicks off with a group photo of the pit masters and a rib-bon cutting ceremony. 17 of the country’s finest barbecue restaurants are represented here.

BlockPartyCrew-19Tim Love, of The Woodshed Smokehouse in Ft. Worth, and one of the new owners of the Block Party, acted as master of ceremonies.

BlockPartyCrew-10We bring the power in the form of five Ole Hickory Pits.

BlockPartyCrew-15Townsend Spice is a huge supporter …

BlockPartyCrew-16… as is Royal Oak Charcoal.

BlockPartyCrew-03Mike and Phillip orchestrate the cooking schedule.

BlockPartyCrew-17We’re cooking non-stop from the moment our equipment is set up and the meat is delivered.

BlockPartyCrew-05We smoke thousands of racks of ribs.

BlockPartyCrew-01Ribs are lightly sauced and sprinkled with Magic Dust® one final time.

BlockPartyCrew-04And then cut into three-bone portions.

BlockPartyCrew-11This area operates like a finely tuned machine, churning out hundreds of plates each hour.

BlockPartyCrew-14We also make gallons and gallons of baked beans.

BlockPartyCrew-02All served with a smile.

BlockPartyCrew-12This year we also cooked two Heritage Farm Cheshire Pork hogs. Delicious!

BlockPartyCrew-13These Chester White pigs are beautifully marbled and incredibly tasty.

BlockPartyCrew-07Elizabeth Knight, Shane Linn, Lawson Linn, and Luke Ray greeting Flava Fav, one of our long-time Block Party friends.

BlockPartyCrew-09New this year was a VIP tent in Madison Square Park …

BlockPartyCrew-08… with each pit master serving his signature food.

BlockPartyCrew-18Looking up and seeing rolling smoke and skyscrapers never gets old. We love New York City!

Stay tuned for more Block Party posts and information in the coming weeks.


All photos ©Ken Goodman Photography

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#WCNYC15: Welcome Conference

2 Jul

WC-NYCSpeaking at the Welcome Conference presenter was an incredible honor. This conference, started by Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park and Anthony Rudolf, formerly of Per Se, and founder of Journee, is a forum for inspiring and educating hospitality professionals.

WC-NYC-01The conference was held the day after the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, and I had the pleasure of meeting and welcoming fellow speaker Banjo Harris Plane of Attica, in Melbourne, Australia, and his girlfriend, Meira Harel, head sommelier at Lake House, and introducing them to American-style barbecue.

WC-NYC-02-3After helping break down and pack up our Block Party space, I raced to clean up for dinner and fellowship with the other speakers. Unfortunately, I missed most of that evening, but when I walked in the door, I was greeted with cheers and hugs. Each speaker was presented with a gift chosen to commemorate the occasion. Knowing my crazy travel schedule and love of leather, Will and Anthony presented me with an exquisite Ghurka duffle bag, perfectly matched to a pair of my Lucchese boots, complete with a brass tag inscribed with one of my daddy’s favorite quotations.

WC-NYC-04The warmest welcome. When I finally arrived at the NoMad Hotel, a handwritten note, accompanied by champagne, fruit, and cookies was waiting for me. …

WC-NYC-05… in the most serene, well-appointed room.

WC-NYC-06The calm before the storm. Fuel for the day and a chance to once again review my notes.

WC-NYC-07Before heading to the venue, I instagrammed my Monday mantra, a photo of the sign we displayed at 17th Street that day, in honor of the Welcome Conference theme.

WC-NYC-08Outside the green room. A meeting of the minds prior to go-time. Special thanks to Kevin Lind and the lovely people who ran the green room. I will remember the conversation and kindness forever.

WC-NYC-09The conference was held at the Times Center, and the room was buzzing with energy and filled with hospitality professionals from all over the country. The pineapple, a time-honored symbol of hospitality, decorated many of the spaces, including the stage.

WC-NYC-10Will Guidara and Anthony Rudolf kicked off the morning, telling the story of how they grew from rivals to friends, and how they came up with the idea for the conference.

WC-NYC-21The theme of the 2nd annual event was “Being Right,” and the 12 speakers each spoke eloquently and emphatically about what that means and what that looks like in our worlds. None of us knew how the others would interpret that theme, and yet our messages overlapped and seamlessly wove together.

WC-NYC-11My dad introduced me and brought both me and the audience to tears.

WC-NYC-12My talk was titled “Recognizing Right,” and I opened with the major influences in my life who made being right a mantra in our family: My grandmother, Mama Faye, who was the matriarch and a guiding force in our family, followed by my aunt, Jeanette Hudgins, the strongest female figure in my life …

WC-NYC-14… and of course, my daddy. NO PRESSURE.

Here’s the actual video:

WC-NYC-15This was a powerhouse group and I can’t say enough about those with whom I was fortunate to spend time and get to know. Budding new friendships are the biggest bonus when participating in a program like this. I also met attendees from the midwest and south, people who felt a kinship with me because of a similar  background and/or upbringing. The stories shared, and the questions, compliments, and conversation, were an unexpected and treasured gift.

This day was a modern version of an old-fashioned tent revival for believers in hospitality. From access and the power of saying “yes” to memorable moments and the time wasted being right, these powerful messages resonated and left a lasting impression on everyone in the room. All of the videos of the presentations are available on this link, and if you’re in the business, or if you ever need a dose of inspiration, I highly recommend watching these one or two at a time. Each video is about 20 minutes in length.

WC-NYC-16An event of this magnitude takes a village to orchestrate. This ace team, headed by Aaron Ginsberg, worked the magic behind the scenes.

And I have to give a special shout out to Chase Bank, one of the gracious event sponsors. They totally get it.

WC-NYC-17That evening, the speakers and other guests attended a reception previewing Anthony Rudolf’s new Journee headquarters.

WC-NYC-18And then Julie and Bill Golderer, of Broad Street Ministries, Sarah Robbins, of 21C Museum Hotels, Banjo, Meira, and I went in search of food, ending up at Craftbar, where they graciously served us a round and rustled up charcuterie and cheese boards, even though their kitchen had just closed. (Thanks, Rosser and staff!)

WC-NYC-19Finally, we retired to The Library at the Nomad, where we were joined by a contingent from Chicago: Gary Obligacion, Alinea group, Kevin Boehm, Boka Restaurant Group, and a few of their colleagues.

WC-NYC-20We cocktailed and chatted and toasted the day and new friendships with Amaro. (Thanks, Nomad!) A magical ending to a most magical day.


I concentrated on the speakers and the messages, so I didn’t take many photos. Thanks to Andrew Dornenberg, Woody Tunnicliffe, and Colin Wilkinson, who so graciously sent these to me!


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17th Street BBQ in Charleston: CBWS Summer BBQ Invitational

30 Jun

Charleston Brown Water Society Second Annual Summer Invitational BBQIf you’re in the Charleston, South Carolina area, please consider joining us for a leisurely afternoon of barbecue and brown water at Holy City Brewery during the 2nd Annual Summer Barbecue Invitational hosted by the Charleston Brown Water Society. We’re excited to be cooking alongside Martin’s Bar-B-Que and Home Team BBQ.
CBWS-2I attended the event last year, helping Rodney Scott. Here we are flanked by CBWS members Jed Portman of Garden & Gun and Dan Latimer of Neighborhood Dining Group.
CBWS-1We’re excited to be cooking with Home Team BBQ, pictured above. Taylor Garrigan, in the middle, just won an episode of CHOPPED! That’s a huge deal.
CBWS-3Angel Postell, CBWS member and Home Team PR maven, is one of the organizers of this event. There are just a few tickets left.

Order yours today!
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17th Street Sunday Sermon

28 Jun


Sunday sermon.


Words we live by at 17th Street Barbecue. 
Our restaurant signs have become points of interest and photographed and shared across the world. Please tag us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook so we can see how far they travel!

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2014 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party: The Food

24 Jun



On a roll! Here are the last of the photos from last year’s event. Check back next week to read about the 2015 event.

These Ole Hickory Pits smoked around the clock to make over 3,500 racks of baby back ribs for the 2014 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Ole Hickory Pits built this rig for us and most of the pits were already sold.

BlockParty-Food-03One buyer requested Mike’s signature be added before delivery.



These Igloo coolers are filled ribs. The perfect holding environment for hot ones, and the perfect cold environment for those waiting for space on the pit.


A favorite part of the weekend is the Shake Shack trade. Win win. BlockParty-Food-06-CookedHog








Photos © Ken Goodman Photography. People keep trying to poach him. I’ve booked him for this weekend to infinity and beyond.

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2014 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party Crew & Pitmasters

23 Jun

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters01And … one more catch-up post. We have the best pit crew on the planet. Love that our barbecue family joins up with us, too. Wayne Mueller, Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor Texas, and Barry Sorkin, of Smoque, in Chicago were a huge help.


BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters03THE PITMASTER Ed Mitchell, the North Carolina legend himself.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters04They don’t come any finer than Don McLemore of Big Bob Gibson.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters05Really proud of our protegé Billy Durney, of Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He was over the moon to be included in the 2014 line-up. This is his sweet daughter, Emma Rose.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters06Proudly representing the STL … long-time friend Mike Emerson of Pappy’s Smokehouse with Mike and Phillip Heern.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters07I’m surrounded by brisket boys. Daniel Delaney of Delaney BBQ and Wayne Mueller.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters08Our pit boss, Phillip Heern, with Elizabeth Knight and Luke Ray of Ole Hickory Pits.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters09The crew. This is our core 17th Street pit crew ..

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters10… and this includes all of our volunteers. The best!

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters11John Hulslander, of Gator John’s BBQ in Ft. Myers, Florida, has attended a handful of our OnCue classes and he’s become a dear friend. Erik Hernandez is our pitmaster from Memphis Championship Barbecue, our Las Vegas operation. We couldn’t do it without them!

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters12Stevie Mitchell, brother of Ed Mitchell. Always a blessing to spend time with him.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters13These guys. Pat Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville and more, and Sam Jones of Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina. Barbecue family through and through.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters14Barry and Wayne are rib-cutting machines.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters15Tracy Heern, a supervisor at our Marion, Illinois restaurant, works alongside Wayne. This was her first trip to New York City.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters16Shelley Phillips, Tim Love, and me. Shelly and Tim are part of C3 Presents, the new owners of the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters17Tracy and Barry are working with Randy Kane and David Bogan, amazing volunteers.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters18Phillip Lorelle of the Union Square Events kitchen joined up to learn more about working the pits. The Union Square Events kitchen also has an Ole Hickory Pit. They produce amazing food. Think about them if you need catering in New York City or the surrounding area!

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters19Shane Linn and his son, Lawson Linn, of Townsend Spice. The freshest kitchen spices and custom blenders of dry rubs. You should check them out.


BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters21Mike and Tim Love. Tim and I met several years ago when we were judges on the Food Network show Best in Smoke.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters22We supplied the ribs for the rib-bon cutting, signifying the opening of the celebration. That’s one of our custom R. Murphy Legend Series knives on the tray. You can buy a set here.

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters23Cheers to the start of the 2014 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party!

BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters24Danny Meyer, Mike, and Ed Mitchell have witnessed the tremendous growth of this party.


BlockParty_CrewAndPitmasters26Pit Crew, day two. Wardrobe change. The New Pork Times, reporting for duty.



The next generation. These pictures make me smile. Top: My children, Faye Landess and Woody, with Ryan Mitchell, son of Ed Mitchell. Bottom: Andrew Lilly, son of Chris Lilly, Faye Landess, Woody, and Jacob Scott, Erin Campbell, and Claire Campbell of Ubon’s.


All pics © Ken Goodman Photography

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2014 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party Friends

23 Jun

BlockParty_Friends_01Before I begin sharing the fun of the 2015 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, I realized that there were so many great images from last year that I’ve neglected to post! Pictured above, along with Mike and me, is David Knight, owner of Ole Hickory Pits. He is a huge champion of 17th Street, and never fails to provide pit power when we need it!

BlockParty_Friends_02My new friend Graceanne Jordan is a hospitality powerhouse and involved in all things Craft and Tom Colicchio. Loved spending time with her and her group of friends.

BlockParty_Friends_05Julian Van Winkle is greeting his friend Katie Hagan-Welchel, Kentucky native and badass chef de cuisine/pitmaster at Ad Hoc in Yountville, California. I spy Levon Wallace and Preston Van Winkle in the background.

BlockParty_Friends_06Family portrait. Mills and Van Winkle families. Love.

BlockParty_Friends_07Best in Smoke reunion photo. We love reminiscing about the filming of that show. Chris Lilly, me, David Mawhinney, who was part of the winning team, holding his sweet son, Des, and Ken Hess.

BlockParty_Friends_08I worked with Gus Pena in the creative department at Talbots and I’m so happy we’ve remained great friends and in touch. Means so much that he and his wife, Kerry Weiss, came from Boston to hang at the Block Party with us.

BlockParty_Friends_09Lauren Hirschberg, corporate chef for Craft and Wayne Mueller, of Louie Mueller Barbecue. No arm wrestling this year.

BlockParty_Friends_10Southern Living was a corporate sponsor for a number of years. Here’s Greg Keyes, along with other Southern Living teammates. Another point of connection: Greg’s son and mine were classmates at Sewanee.

BlockParty_Friends_11Mike Mills being interviewed by one of the numerous film crews that are usually swarming this event.

BlockParty_Friends_12Feeding the military is one heartwarming aspect of the Block Party. We pluck them out of line and show them some hospitality. So very grateful for these men who fight to keep us free.

BlockParty_Friends_13Townsend Spice is another one of our vendors and sponsors and supporters of all things 17th Street. They provide our kitchen spices and blend our Magic Dust, using our recipe. This is Shane Linn, the owner. Contact him for all of your spice needs. They are awesome people with whom to work.

BlockParty_Friends_BabiesOur littlest guests. So sweet.

BlockParty_Friends_CrowdsThe sea of people this event draws is amazing and overwhelming. Nothing like it in New York City. I spy Elizabeth and Jeff Moore of Green Olive Media and Chris Macias, a talented New York City chef who helps each year.

BlockParty_Friends_IndustryLevon Wallace, chef/partner in the soon-to-open Cochon Butcher in Nashville, Char, Lauren, and Sydney Hirschberg, George Mendes, Gennaro Pecchia of Men Who Dine with Graceanne Jordan and Justin.

BlockParty_Friends_PressSo many media friends! Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly barbecue critic, and Doris, Paula, Kate Krader, of Food + Wine, and Robin Insley, publicist extraordinare of Robin Insley Associates. With a cameo selfie of Ken Goodman.

BlockParty_Friends_SewaneeBarbecue is about friends and family and I love that my son is surrounded by his Roxbury Latin School, Winsor, and Sewanee friends each year. A great way for them to gather in the city. Some of them even pitch in and help!

BlockParty_Friends_USHGFavorite people. Always great to visit with Union Square Hospitality Group people whom we met at the beginning of the Blue Smoke journey. David and Susan Swinghamer, brilliant and nice. The best combination. Michael Romano, from whom we learned far more than we taught.

BlockParty_Friends_ViertelBroadway comes to the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Tom Viertel and Pat Daily are dear, long-time friends and huge supporters. It’s safe to say that without them, there’d be no Blue Smoke and no Block Party. Cheers to the power and love of barbecue!

Stay tuned for this year’s photos … coming soon!

Photos © Ken Goodman Photography. He really is the best.

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Cherry Bombe Jubilee

23 Mar

CherryBombeJubilee-01Busy week on the horizon. On Wednesday, we’re off to New Orleans to participate in Hogs for the Cause, a barbecue and music event with proceeds going to families fighting pediatric brain cancer. If you’re in the New Orleans area, please come by and say hello!

On Sunday, I’ll be in Manhattan for the second-ever Cherry Bombe JubileeCherry Bombe is the biannual food magazine created by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu, and they’ve organized a sold-out, one-day conference with a fascinating line-up of food world rockstars.

Below are a few photos from last year’s Jubilee. The soaring, light-filled refectory at the High Line Hotel was buzzing with 300 women who traveled from all over the country. From Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl to Barbara Lynch and April Bloomfield, chefs, food media, and PR professionals, the room was filled with women {and a few brave men} who are creating the current culinary landscape.

CherryBombeJubilee-02Le Creuset was one of the sponsors who made the day possible. Here’s their gorgeous, new, matte-finish collection.

CherryBombeJubilee-03 You can read some of the best quips and quotes from last year’s event here and here. The panels on being a chef and a working mother and the relationship between chefs and the media were especially thought provoking.


CherryBombeJubilee-05The day was strategically designed with several long breaks and lunch so there was plenty of time to network, chat, and meet new people while weaving through three connected rooms filled with delicious bites of food.


CherryBombeJubilee-07Top: Four and Twenty Blackbirds lemon chess and salted honey pies.
Bottom: Kerry and I are toasting with a special Cherry Bombe macaron created especially for the event. 

Looking forward to this year’s Jubilee!

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Rent The Warehouse at 17th Street

13 Feb

17ST_WeddingCateringAD-2January and February are busy months for booking The Warehouse for weddings, reunions, fundraisers, and all sorts of celebrations. This is also where we hold our OnCue Consulting seminars, and Ken Goodman beautifully captured some details from our recent Whole Hog Extravaganza.

Warehouse_05Exposed brick walls and duct work with touches of warm wood and lots of twinkling lights make the room feel festive and welcoming.

Warehouse_07Showstopper. The table is designed with red ticking and solid tablecloths layered over black with a built-up display of natural wood, vintage items, and fresh flowers and greenery. An antique ladder, draped with tea-stained bunting, antlers, and greenery finished off this stunning display.

Warehouse_14You can rent a huge variety of decorative items from our extensive prop room. Becky Streuter, our catering manager, has quite the eye for collecting unusual pieces that will elevate your event and make it extra special.

Fresh salads on display.

Warehouse_08Cheeseboard with specialty selections and fresh fruit.

Warehouse_09Serving trays made from slices of wood and whiskey barrel staves.

Warehouse_10Smoked turkey sliders beautifully displayed on a cutting board, elevated by slices of wood.

Warehouse_06The large-scale lighted signs are removed for events that might not have a barbecue theme.

Warehouse_11Bulleit bottles repurposed as vases and shot glasses displayed in an upended wooden crate.

Warehouse_13Libations station. The bar area is constructed of whiskey barrels topped with an old door.

Warehouse_11Layers add interest. Burlap, wood slices, and fresh flowers in mason jars make simple, attractive centerpieces.

Warehouse_04Beautiful breakfast display. Inventive use of heirlooms, antiques, and fresh flowers.

Warehouse_02Vintage details. Cut glass plates, jadeite cake stands, and layered vintage linens.

Warehouse_03Fresh flowers from Twig in the Murdale Shopping Center.

Call 618-684-8902 to schedule an appointment to see our event spaces and plan your party! We’ve gathered lots of ideas on our Pinterest page to help you plan a beautiful celebration.


Photos ©Ken Goodman.

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Hogs for the Cause

12 Feb

Hogs for the Cause 2015Hogs for the Cause is a barbecue and music event that raises money to provide aid and relief of those variable expenses and economic burdens families face while their child is being treated for pediatric brain cancer. In addition to cooking at the event, we’re committed to raising a minimum of $2,000 to contribute to this worthy organization. If you’re local, kindly consider buying some raffle tickets for a Whole Hog Celebration. We’ll feed you and 100 of your closest friends. It’ll be awesome.

If you live near New Orleans, come and join us at the event at City Park on March 27–28. You can buy barbecue from dozens of top teams and listen to great music. Get your advance tickets here. If you know a family who’d benefit from the good works of Hogs for a Cause, please pass along the grant application information on this page.

Hogs for the Cause is a 501(3)(c) organization, so your donations are tax deductible for the full amount as allowed by the IRS.


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