The 2015 Dream Team. Front row: John Stage, Kat Kinsman, Mike Mills, John Delpha, Sam Jones, Amy Mills. Back Row: Patrick Martin, John Lewis, Barry Sorkin, and Wayne Mueller.
Back in January, we held our fourth-ever Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA.
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, each pitmaster goes through the butchering and prep process. While the hogs, brisket, beef ribs, and sausage were cooking, we gathered for the BBQ MBA portion of the program. The theme was “Telling the Barbecue Story,” and we heard from producers at CoolFire Studios, barbecue critics Robert Moss and Daniel Vaughn, Tasting Table editor-at-large Kat Kinsman, and more.
All of these outstanding images are by the uber-talented Ken Goodman, who also gave a class filled with tips for excellent iPhone photography.
So proud of this 1-7 pit crew who helps with every aspect of this production.
The entire group, From Alaska to New York, and including guests from Colombia and China.
Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens welcoming our guests.
Set-ups for the cocktail party …
… and for breakfast.
No shortage of whiskey.
John Stage and Barry Sorkin did a brisket demo.
RH Weaver of Husk presented a talk on cocktails and made a delicious drink designed just for this event.
Hospitality bag of delicious items from Striplings, Goo Goo Cluster, Townsend Spice, and more.
Tools of the trade.
These burn barrels provided fuel and warmth all night long.
And, as usual, we spent treasured time around the burn barrels, late into the night.
John Delpha’s porchetta is always a crowd pleaser.
Three very different hogs. Pat Martin’s cooked over hickory …
Sam Jones’s over oak ..
And Mike and Phillip’s over apple.
Links of John Lewis’s delicious sausage, bathed in smoke.
He made two varieties: regular and cheddar jalapeño.
Mike is checking under the hood of one of his hogs.
Late-night snack. John Delpha smoked these pig heads, which I carefully sawed in half. The heads were so large, they wouldn’t fit on the bandsaw. We picked tasty threads of cheek meat and combined them with amazing Asian slaw and condiments to make delicious tacos.
The next Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA will be held January 18-19, 2016. Guest pitmasters and speakers will be announced shortly. Some spaces have already been reserved, so you’ll want to sign up quickly! You can register here.
Photos © Ken Goodman Photography
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