Category / On The Road


Let's Eat 2014 Edition

BBQI realize we’re well into 2015 – hello, February! – so please bear with me as I catch up and document the rest of an amazing 2014. I’m not sure what we did without camera phones to capture every interesting plate of food put before us? Scrolling through my photo album and remembering plates of food – and with whom I shared them – makes me inexplicably happy. Most of these are moments I didn’t document elsewhere on this site and I want to remember them.

We served these barbecue parfaits to groups of VIP guests at Memphis in May. Layers of tortilla chips, slaw, and succulent strings of pulled pork, drizzled with a bit of sauce.

BeetSaladBeet carpaccio at Cherche Midi. Red and golden beets sliced paper thin and layered with brebis and sprinkled with a pistachios. One of my favorite NYC nights in 2014. I will never not order this at Cherche Midi. Shane McBride is brilliant.

BrusselsSproutSkilletSizzling, balsamic-glazed Brussels sprouts at The Pig in St. Louis. Loved these.

BSpotBurgerMichael Symon’s burger at the Burger Bash at South Beach Wine & Food Festival. So good.

CheeseBoardCheese board at Craftbar. Accompanied by lots of rosé and great friends.

ChickenAndWafflesCornish game hen and waffles with cayenne-spiked syrup. Fun take on the standard chicken and waffles. At Cody’s Bistro in San Marcos, Texas with my whole pit crew and Keith Schmidt of Kreuz Market.

FriedChickenGus’s fried chicken. A must during Memphis in May.

FriedChickenAndFixinsA sleepy Sunday afternoon at The Lodge at Giant City State Park with my daddy. All-you-can-eat fried chicken and all the fixin’s. A family tradition.

GrapefruitBruleéd grapefruit at The Breslin at the Ace Hotel. A life-changing breakfast meeting. Must remember how big the possibilities seemed at that moment.

GrilledLobsterLobster tails, carried fresh from Maine by DennyMike Sherman, and grilled during the National Barbecue Association convention in San Marcos, Texas.

LimaBeansSimple and fresh salad of butter beans, fresh South Carolina shrimp, and a light lemon vinaigrette. Monza, Charleston, SC.

LobsterRollsButtery buns stuffed full of fresh, tender lobster. An early morning treat handed over the fence during the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party by Ed McFarland of Ed’s Lobster Bar in Manhattan. Go there.

MicrogreensSaladBeet salad and a bottle of rosé at Balthazar. Always a special treat.

PickledSaladRazor clams with apple, radishes, and bright with cilantro at The Ordinary in Charleston. We ordered pretty much the entire menu and it was all so, so good.

PIeSlicesSlices of the very best Big Bob Gibson pies, carefully carried by Carolyn McLemore to Memphis in May. Peanut butter, coconut, and chocolate. Feels like home.

PizzaSugo’s is one of my favorite places in St. Louis. My great college friend and Mizzou J-school cohort introduced me to this spot. Next to my favorite shopping spot and hotel, I go there often when I’m St. Louis. Great salads, wine, and pizza. Mike Del Pietro creates great dining experiences.

SoftShellCrabSoftshell crab at Lorenzillios in Cancun. My first vacation not attached to a business trip in 20 years. Slow learner.

BBQCelebrating a big deal with our Coolfire partners. Really great burnt ends sandwich at Bogart’s in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis. Also the deviled egg potato salad. Bravo, Skippy!

BreakfastBreakfast does not get much better than this. Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford, during SFA, with my partners in crime.

OysterTowerAnd, the triple tower. During eight visits to Charleston in 2014, The Ordinary became our go-to celebratory spot, with the triple tower as the centerpiece. The memories of each of these evenings, and the people gathered around the table, are seared into my mind. Moments as big as years. Looking forward to many more of these evenings in 2015.

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Charleston Brown Water Society TX-SC BBQ Invitational

Charleston-TX-01-CookingBrisketByMoonlightI’m still documenting my summer fun and one of my favorite barbecue trips involved  the Charleston Brown Water Society SC-TX Barbecue Invitational at Holy City Brewing.

John Lewis of La Barbecue, the top-ranked barbecue in Austin, TX, accompanied by fellow Texans Robert Sierra and Emma and Travis Heim, traveled from Austin to cook brisket and beef ribs alongside famed South Carolina whole hog wizard Rodney Scott.

Above is John, with Travis looking on, cooking briskets by moonlight.

Charleston-TX-02-RodneyBurnBarrelThe ritual of prepping and cooking barbecue is my favorite part of an event. Here’s Rodney’s burn barrel, just before firing it up …

Charleston-TX-03-PilesOfOakwith this pile of hewn oak, hauled from his hometown of Hemingway South Carolina.

Charleston-TX-04-LightingWithBeefFatWe lit the fire with Texas butcher paper dipped in beef fat from John’s pit. A true collaborative effort.

Charleston-TX-05-FanningFlamesIt took a lot of fanning to get the fire going.

Charleston-TX-06-SmolderingPigsAfter prepping the hogs, they were put on the pit to smoke and smolder through the night …

Charleston-TX-07-MoreCoals… with more coals shoveled on as necessary

Charleston-TX-08-98YearOldWhiskeyOf course, the good stuff always happens after midnight. We took swigs out of this bottle of 98 year-old whiskey that Jed Portman brought out for the occasion. This is Dan Latimer, CBWS founding member and head puppeteer of the Husk/McCrady’s/soon to be Minero empire.

Charleston-TX-09-SimpleMenuThe day’s simple menu written on butcher paper.

Charleston-TX-10-IceLugeThe carved ice luge saw some action throughout the party.

Charleston-TX-11-BagOfCrabsChef BJ Dennis brought a bag crabs to cook for us. BJ is revered for his Gullah/Geechee cuisine.

Charleston-TX-12-CrabsWatching Robert’s reaction to those crabs, especially when the bag was dropped and some escaped, was pretty amusing. You’re not in Texas anymore, Robert!

Charleston-TX-13-CheckingThePigsThe Texas contingent up close and personal with Rodney and the hogs.

Charleston-TX-14-PilesOfBeefTravis  and John posing with piles of wrapped beef ribs.

Charleston-TX-15_RodneyCheckingHogsThe master: Rodney checking the hogs just prior to pulling them off the pit.

Charleston-TX-16-PullingRodneysPorkLoved spending time with Angel Postell, Hometeam PR girl extraordinaire. We had lots of time to chat as we teamed up to pull the pork.

Charleston-TX-17-OneDownOne carcass down.

Charleston-TX-18-NotMessingAroundThese Charleston Brown Water Society boys are not messing around. This was their private stash.

Charleston-TX-19_BestShirtHusk bar manager Robert Weaver ha the best t-shirt at the barbecue. Hands down.

Charleston-TX-20-PlateOfFoodPlate of delicious food. Sides by BJ Dennis.

Charleston-TX-21-HometeamBBQHanging with the Hometeam BBQ boys, Aaron and Taylor, was a highlight.

Charleston-TX-22-NewBestieNew bestie, Craig Nelson from Proof. If you’re ever in Charleston, you must sit at his bar and marvel at the precision and care he takes with his cocktails.

Charleston-TX-23-HolyCityBreweryJT Stellenmach from Holy City Brewing with the Texas contingent: Emma and Travis Heim, John Lewis, Becca DuPree, and Robert Sierra.

Charleston-TX-24-SamAmyRodneyJohnBarbecue family: Sam Jones, me, Rodney, and John.

Charleston-TX-25-ThisIsBBQNow THIS is barbecue. Great shot of a great time.

Charleston-TX-26-JedRodneyAmyDanJed Portman of Garden & Gun, Rodney, me, and Dan Latimer celebrating at the end of the event.

This event was magic. Holy City Brewing was such a gracious host, providing late morning yoga, great beer, a place to watch the World Cup, and the perfect spot for 300 guests to comfortably gather enjoy great food. Highwire Distillery, Charleston Distilling, and Six & Twenty Distilling sampled their wares and King of Pops distributed an array of refreshing, inventively flavored popsicles. While the pace of prepping barbecue for the lines was a bit rapid at times, the overall pace of the day was relaxed, and the guests were so appreciative of the food, libations, and fun. Heartfelt thanks to Robert Donovan, Eric Doksa, Dan Latimer, Robert Moss, Craig Nelson, Jed Portman, Roderick Weaver, Bear Barrow, and the entire CBWS and Holy City Brewing crews for their hospitality, hard work, and good cheer. Can’t wait to do it again!

Special thanks to Robert Donovan Photography for the use of some of his photos. 

Follow our adventures in real time on Instagram and Twitter.
See lots of entertaining and barbecue ideas on our Pinterest boards.
And we post fun things on Facebook, too!