Tagged / Amy Mills


Whole Hog Extravaganza 2019 – Day 2

The 2019 group shot. We spend an intense two and a half days together, and seeing the huge smiles and relationships formed is really special. There’s truly nothing like the barbecue community.

About OnCue

OnCue offers the only professional barbecue education in the world. Many of the top names in barbecue have joined us here at 17th Street. We’re celebrating 10 years of superlative learning; over 1300 people traveled from 45 states and 16 countries to attend our programs. If you’re in the business, serious about barbecue, or a super enthusiast, this class is not to be missed. This is the perfect time to get motivated for a new year and a new decade. You’ll learn new skills, form important relationships, and immerse yourself in superior barbecue business education.

What happens Tuesday

Tuesday of the Whole Hog Extravaganza is filled with food. Everything we prepped on Monday comes off the pit. Barry Sorkin, of Smoque, is known for his brisket expertise, and even seasoned pros learn something new as he talks about slicing brisket and the way he uses the different sections.

Kat Kinsman, Amy Mills, Chris Chamberlain, Billy Durney, and Beth Schiff participate in deep discussions during the Whole Hog Extravaganza.

Seminar sessions

This day is also filled with lots of panel discussions. Kat Kinsman, senior editor of Food + Wine magazine, is part of every Whole Hog Extravaganza, and the discussion she leads about anxiety, addiction, and depression in restaurant kitchens is both sobering and hopeful. This discussion always results in a great deal of sharing amongst our group, and she provides solid resources for help. I know for a fact, based on feedback we get each year, that this session has provided concrete help and saved more than one life.

In the bottom right photo above, I’m chatting with Beth Schiff, casting director for CHOPPED, among other Food Network shows. Beth and I led a discussion about how to get cast for food television. She shared all kinds of tips regarding what casting directors are seeking, how to maximize your appearance, what makes a great competitor on a show, and more. The class participants had a chance to mingle with Beth throughout the class, and so far, four people have been cast on shows.

These gorgeous whole hogs are the star of the show, and just before lunch, we pulled them from the pits.

One compliment we continually hear during our classes is about the food. We eat well and abundantly over the course of this event. You would have to travel for thousands of miles to eat the food from all of these outstanding pitmasters, and it’s such a treat to have it all under one roof. The plate above represents meat from three different hogs, a sausage, a slice of porchetta, slaw, and potato salad ~ the perfect barbecue sides. The porchetta is such a special treat, and John Delpha is truly the master of this creation. Students watched and learned as he deboned the hog, brined it, made the sausage, and put it all together with the fragrant herb mixture, then tied up. It’s a multi-step process and a labor of love. Participants leave with his special recipe and it’s fun to see people re-creating this once they get back to their restaurants and sharing it on social media.

After lunch, it’s time for final panel discussions and a Q&A. The photo above is the 50 ideas in 50 minutes speed round, with each person giving bits of advice that lead to success. The audience furiously scribbled notes — this content is gold.

I get lots of questions about the sweatshirts we’re wearing in these photos. You have to attend the seminar to get a sweatshirt; we don’t sell them and we only print one per guest/speaker/sponsor. We also print collectible posters, and it’s fun to see these framed and hanging in restaurants all over the country.

The 2020 Whole Hog Extravaganza/Bovine Bonanza/BBQ MBA dates are January 20-21, and we’re half full at the moment. Click here now to secure your spot — this will sell out!

All photos by Ken Goodman Photography.


Whole Hog Extravaganza 2019 – Day 1

2019 Dream Team

While we’re beginning registration for the 9th annual Whole Hog Extravaganza/Bovine Bonanza/BBQ MBA, I want to give you a look behind the scenes of last year’s program. Pictured above is a veritable Dream Team. The 2019 presenters were Mike Mills and Amy Mills, 17th Street Barbecue, Michael Ollier and Gavin Pinto from Certified Angus Beef, Kat Kinsman, author and Sr. Editor, Food + Wine magazine, Chris Chamberlain, journalist and author, Tank Jackson, Holy City Hogs, Harrison Sapp, Southern Soul Barbecue, John Lewis, Lewis Barbecue, Billy Durney, Hometown Bar-B-Que, Barry Sorkin, Smoque, RH Weaver, brown water expert and mixologist extraordinaire, Beth Schiff, casting director, and John Delpha,

We start the event with a casual welcome gathering at the Murphysboro 17th Street restaurant location. Aaron Kleidon, of Scratch Brewing Company, curated a tasting of some of his renowned beers made from foraged ingredients, and the participants have a chance to meet and mingle with one another and the guest pit masters in a relaxed environment. John Delpha started butchering his suckling pig for the porchetta, which is a multiple-day preparation procedure.

Here’s a whole class photo. This terrific group came from 15 states, and over a third of the class are repeat attendees—a testament to the programming and networking opportunities.

Day one is filled with a number of demos—butchering and prepping whole hogs, brisket, ribs, sausage, and other meats. The burn barrels are fired up and the group watches the meat being loaded onto pits.

The 17th Street Crew and Tank Jackson talked and prepped whole hogs, Harrison Sapp talked about his famous Brunswick Stew, and Billy Durney and Michael Conlon prepped their delicious Korean Sticky Ribs.

The Certified Angus Beef experts broke down a forequarter, John Lewis and Philip Powers prepared sausage, and Barry Sorkin trimmed and seasoned brisket.

Our evening kicked off with a talk on bar profitability, whiskey education, and a tasting, led by Weaver. He and one of our bartenders, Renee Rodewald, also whipped up several different types of punch to try.

Stay tuned for a look at day two.

This is the only program of its kind in the world. The 2020 Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA registration is underway now, and there are just 15 spots left. Click here to register. Travel and schedule details are linked on that page, or you can click here.

All photos by the talented Ken Goodman Photography.