Tagged / Mike Mills

11
Jul

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.

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

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

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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.

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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

3
Jun

OnCue: BBQ MBA

The BBQ MBA is part of the Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza event held each January. While the hogs and brisket are cooking, we gather to hear wisdom, advice, and cautionary tales from the pitmasters and marketing/media masterminds.

I love feeling of potential that greets me every January as I start a fresh New Year. The exercise of planning and putting ideas and concrete goals in my calendar is immensely satisfying. For the past two years, much of my inspiration has come from the BBQ MBA portion of the Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza. The ideas and information we share helps me prioritize specific projects and provide a burst of energy in my creative thinking.

WholeHog_SpeakerPanelThe pitmasters talked about restaurant branding, how television affected their businesses, and their own personal barbecue journeys.

WholeHog_KatThe incomparable Kat Kinsman, editor of CNN’s eatocracy.com took the stage with equally eloquent Mitchell Davis, EVP of the James Beard Foundation and me and we discussed social media dos and don’ts and how to use it to develop relationships, as well as PR strategies for winning media attention.

WholeHog_SpeakersMitchell also gave a rousing talk aptly titled, “Barbecue in Context: from Pits to Pouilly Fuissé” – a perfectly on-point discussion about barbecue’s place in American cuisine. Brilliant marketing and branding mastermind Aric Nissen spoke about branding and menu engineering. I shared ideas and insight about the real work behind building a successful barbecue restaurant and brand.

Did you attend this year’s event? I’d love to hear your favorite takeaway in the comments below.

Read about the Brisket Bonanza portion of this event here. Read more about OnCue events and the 2013 – early 2014 schedule here.

Follow our speakers on twitter here: Amy, Kat, Mitchell, Aric, Wayne, Barry, Brad, Sam, and John.

Make 2014 your best year ever and join us at the next Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA which will be held January 19-21, 2014. All photos © Ken Goodman Photography. View the entire gallery here.