Tagged / bbq seminar


Portrait Session at the Whole Hog Extravaganza.

I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve, one of my favorite days of the year, and I’m putting some final touches on this year’s Whole Hog Extravaganza. I’m a goal setter and a planner, and I’ve been plotting and planning our 2020 for several months. Turning that calendar page to a fresh new year — and a fresh new DECADE — is both symbolic and refreshing for me. In order to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way — and yours — it’s imperative to have all of the assets you need to take advantage of the media opportunities that come your way. Having a great headshot is one of those assets that’s critical to have on hand.

During the panel discussion with Beth Schiff, casting director for numerous Food Network shows, including CHOPPED, we discussed the need for great headshots, which are useful for all sorts of PR and television casting purposes. During that exchange, I talked about an opportunity on which I missed out because I didn’t have a professional head shot.

So … to remedy this situation, and send everyone home with a lagniappe, photographer Jeremy Kohm set up a dramatic lighting situation at last year’s Whole Hog Extravaganza, and took portraits of the attendees, speakers, and guest pitmasters. As you can see by the images in the post, the results were fantastic, and everyone has digital files of these shots to use in the future.

Jeremy shoots and creates digital content for numerous Food Network shows, so he knows exactly what casting directors and media outlets are looking for. He’ll be on hand again this year to create new portraits for all who attend. Who knows … Mike Mills might even get in on the action with you!

Here are some behind-the-scenes looks at Day One and Day Two of last year’s event. Illustrated with gorgeous images from Ken Goodman, these two posts will give you a good idea of the intense learning and delicious eating that takes place.

To secure your space in the January 20-21 event, click here to register. Travel/schedule details can be found at this link. I hope you’ll take advantage of this incredible opportunity to learn from an amazing group of pitmasters and speakers, make friends and contacts with an incredible group of people, and start 2020 with the burst of enthusiasm and motivation this event provides. There’s nothing like this in the barbecue world. We’d love to welcome you to 17th Street.


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.