Monthly Archives / July 2013


Memphis in May: Filming "The Chew"

MIM_TheChew_FilmingGetting a call from The Chew producers in late April was an unexpected surprise. “We’re coming to film at Memphis in May and we want to feature Apple City Barbecue,” they told me. “Is that okay with you?” Ummm… hello! Of course!

The shoot took place over a two-day period and the first morning was pretty soggy. We completed all of the filming in our tent while the rain steadily fell. One of the plans was for us to take host Michael Symon on a walkabout and introduce him to some of our friends. That plan was about to get shelved because of the rain, but fortunately, the skies cleared later in the day.


The Chew was already scheduled to film Big Bob Gibson, Yazoo’s Delta Q, and Jack’s Old South. So we introduced them to our friends at The Shed

Boar’s Night Out {last year’s winners of Praise the Lard Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-off} …


And the Ribdiculous BBQ Krew, who fed us some delicious alligator ribs they had just cooked for the exotic category.


Yes, Lauren Hirschberg, I am trampling your lawn!

We’ve worked with Michael on several shows, most notably Food Feuds {where he named our ribs “best in St. Louis”} and Best Thing I Ever Ate where he chose our ribs as the best single bite of pork he’s ever eaten. Thank you, Michael. We remain incredibly grateful! Without fail I’ve watched him patiently pose for numerous fan photos and chat with people who approach him, with his trademark smile and genuine warmth shining through. The success of any show is the crew behind the scenes and the producers of The Chew are an incredibly personable and professional team. Huge shout out to Anthony, Maggie, Becky, and Katie – you’re the best!
MIM_TheChew_EveryoneThe Memphis in May story was part of a prime-time special about barbecue ranging from a clambake on the beach to a trail ride in Texas. We were thrilled to be part of the production along with so many of our barbecue friends.

More about our Memphis in May experience coming up next week!


OnCue: Whole Hog Extravaganza

WholeHog_17thStreet_1We’re deep in planning the next Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA which will be held January 19-21, 2014. This event brings together some of the most celebrated whole hog and brisket cookers in the country, along with brilliant marketing and media minds, and showcases a variety of cooking methods and styles. During the class, pitmaster goes through the butchering and prep process.


The observation mirror view looks a bit like a scene from Dexter during the demos.


Sam Jones is wielding the ax as he carefully splits his hog.


Near the end of the cook his hog is flipped so the skin is facing the coals, causing it to blister and crisp up. That cracklin’ will be chopped up and mixed in with the meat. Or if you’re standing nearby, he’ll break off a piece for you. A little bite of heaven.

WholeHog_Shed_1Brad Orrison and his crew from The Shed are famous for their robo hog. Brad invented this contraption that allows the hog to cook running style.

WholeHog_Shed_2There’s no prettier presentation and it tastes good, too. So good, in fact, that it placed 1st in the whole hog category at Memphis in May this year. You can catch Brad and his family on a new Food Network show that will begin airing August 4th.

WholeHog_17thStreet_2 Mike, Phillip, and our gang cooked two styles of hogs – one crouched and one on its back. Both delicious.

WholeHog_StokingFire_1 Tending the pits the night and passing bottles of Bulleit bourbon and moonshine-soaked cherries around the burn barrels is part of the fun.

WholeHog_PorkBelly While the hogs and brisket are cooking, we gather for the BBQ MBA portion of the program and hear wisdom, advice, and cautionary tales from the pitmasters and marketing/media masterminds. Brisket demos and sampling and delicious meals and snacks were part of the program as well. The glazed pork belly bites, pictured above, were one of snacks we enjoyed.

Registration will open soon for the January 2014 event. Email me if you’d like to be put on the list. We have some returning pitmasters and speakers as well as new additions to the line-up. It promises to be an outstanding educational and networking experience.

Read more about the Porchetta, Brisket Bonanza and BBQ MBA portions of this event herehere and here

The next Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA will be held January 19-21, 2014. For a gallery of 2013 event photos, taken by the great Ken Goodman, click here