A round-up of barbecue news from across the South
BBQ Sports Betting Heads North
It’s now routine for governors in Southern states to engage in friendly barbecue wagers when the football or basketball teams from their respective states square off in a championship game. (Though I’ve never quite understood how it’s much of a prize for a North Carolina politician to have to eat smoked brisket if, say, Chapel Hill beats UT-Austin in a big game.) This tournament season senators in New York and Connecticut got in on the action, too. I guess Senators Blumenthal and Murphy have a big load of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on the way.
Texas BBQ Invades Augusta National
The Master’s Champions Dinner is a long standing tradition at Augusta National. This year, 2015 champion Jordan Speith hosted the dinner for more than 30 other former champions, and he selected a barbecue menu. Being a Texan, he opted not for Georgia-style chopped pork and Brunswick stew (the Dallas-born Speith may not even know what that latter delicacy is) but instead a slate of “Authentic Texas Barbecue.” The folks at Augusta National apparently figured out how to cook a little brisket in time for the event.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 5, 2016
Regional barbecue boundaries continue to blur. Now the Dallas Morning News reports an optimistic West Coast restaurateur thinks Texans are ready for Santa Maria-style tri-tip barbecue. Jon Pickerel of Tri Tip Grill assured the Morning News that he can convert “die-hards, vegetarians, stubborn children and skeptical Texans,” though he added, “the hardest person to convince is the Texan.”
A Kansas City BBQ Legend
Ardie Davis has a nice profile of William Chaney, one of the legends of the Kansas City barbecue scene. In 1943, he started off as a dishwasher at Charlie Bryant’s Barbecue, (that’s Arthur Bryant’s older brother), then, after working as a bricklayer in the construction industry, merged the two experiences into a career building custom brick pits for some of Kansas City’s most beloved barbecue restaurants.
Barbecue Lands in Korea
Over the past few years, we’ve seen Southern-style barbecue become trendy in far off places like New York, London, and Paris. Now, Conde Nast Traveler reports Seoul, South Korea has started to embrace barbecue, too. Here in the U.S., of course, Korean barbecue is all the rage, too, and we’ve now got nouveau ‘cue spots like Atlanta’s Heirloom Market BBQ (one of our Top 50 Southern BBQ joints) doing East-meets-South mashups like a spicy Korean pork sandwich with gochujang chili paste. In Seoul, however, they eschew the fusion and stick with the traditional Southern style.