Research Project on the Culture of BBQ in Savannah for the Contextual Research Master's program course at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The project went on for 3 months and the authors all actively participated in the research, analysis and design of the final process book.
“BBQERS:”A term used to describe any individual involved in BBQ, weather they be a pit-
master, a restaurant owner, or an aficionado.
CHAR BARK:The outside crust created by the caramelization of seasonings and sugar during
the cooking process. Typically black in color.
GRILLING: A method of cooking meat at temperatures of 375° directly exposing the food to
the heat source (Usually an open flame)
HARD WOODS: Dense woods such as live oak and hickory that are used in barbecuing
because of the amount of time they take to burn. Because BBQing is a long process, hard
woods are preferred because they burn longer.
“Let it Rest:”A saying used in barbecuing meaning giving the cooked meat time to settle
before cutting or pulling it apart, allowing the juices to settle and the meat to finish cooking.
PIT:A sizable hole dug into the ground where wood or charcoal is burned over which the
meat is barbecued.
PITMASTER:One who operates a barbecue pit. Often used as a term of respect for someone
who is skilled at barbecuing.
“PULLED:”The process of separating the cooked meat with one´s hands or tongs. Literally
pulling the meat apart.
SMOKING:A method used to impart flavor of specific wood varieties into the meat through
the process of slow cooking
SMOKE RING:One of the most sought after properties of smoked meats, a pinkish ring just
under the surface crust (bark). The smoke ring is caused by a chemical reaction between the
smoke and the meat.
TRADITIONAL BBQ:A slow cooking process using hard wood at temperatures between 225-
250° until reaching an internal temperature of 195°
Secondary research data was organized through a series of modes with the intention to
create a visual summaries of our findings. Each mode approached the data in different
ways in order to later compare them and identify the players, relationships between
stakeholders, trends and other key factors influencing the BBQ culture in Savannah.
The 5 modes used to organize and compare our secondary data were based on Vijay
Kumar’s 101 Design Methods:
Trends Experts Interviews
Key informants were selected to discuss in an unstructured and informal manner about
their knowledge of BBQ as a whole to have a broader context on the topic from experts’
points of view.
This mode compiled data from books, articles, and other bibliographical sources with
respect of how BBQ initiated and how it has changed over the years.
Analogous models were studied to analyze the concepts of competition, smoking
techniques in different cultures and media influence on the BBQ culture.
Past and present world trends were layed out as to foresee which trends were constant,
which are changing, and which might be pushing towards the future. Trends in technology,
culture, and process were used to create a matrix divided in past, present and future.
Culture Activity Map
We used this method to map out which activities and cultures were present in the BBQ
culture and how they related to each other, in search for trends and possible opportunities.
After addressing each mode independently, overlapping call outs were identified and
color coded to create a more holistic interpretation of the data.
After secondary research had been conducted, research questions were generated
through brainstorming, considering all the areas previously explored and analyzed.
Broad questions were initially formulated to later generate more descriptive,
specific questions for the Research Plan.
What is BBQ? What is the culture around BBQ? Who are the players for BBQ in
Savannah? Where are the BBQ hubs in Savannah located? How do you grow a BBQ
culture? Why do people BBQ?
We adopted the Participation Observation method to gather data about the
players in the BBQ industry. This method allowed us to learn about the individuals
while observing them in their natural environment. It enabled us to get an intuitive
and intellectual grasp of them and capture qualitative data on processes, and
interactions between them. We used various tools to capture who, when, where,
what, why, and how people cook, eat, or commercialize BBQ. Observation helped
us distinguish between what people do and what they say they do. We categorize
our observations through the lenses of activities, environments, interactions, objects
and users. We categorized our observations through the lenses of Activities,
environment, interaction, object and users. (A,E,I,O,U).
Ricky Walker, who spent many years at Gulfstream building jet
engines, was a well-known host of the ultimate BBQ feast in his
neighborhood. He started fixing BBQ for my family and a few
friends on the weekends, then “the parties just got bigger & bigger.”
November 2012 saw a business expansion, the news of which had
already set mouths watering for months: Trick’s BBQ opened on a
little corner between Bull and Victory as a companion to the car
Tricks BBQ is well known for its ribs amongst locals and tourists.
They cook over a dozen cases of fresh ribs a day, served with their
signature, home-made BBQ sauce which secret recepe keeps
customers continuously returning for more.already set mouths
watering for months: Trick’s BBQ opened on a little corner
between Bull and Victory as a companion to the car detailing biz.
The “Tricks” logo is hand painted on its building, but it’s the
handmade smoking tanks that are visible from a block away as well
as the fresh smoked BBQ aroma which makes passerbys stream into
the parking lot and line up under the tent where orders are taken.
All the meat preparation and serving is done secretely under
closed doors. All meals are served to go and clients wait in line
under the sun for around 10-15 minutes for their order to come out.
Andrew Trice and his wife Aileen opened Angel’s BBQ more than 8
years ago. Andrew had been in the fine dining industry for 14 years
and wanted to do something more real. They found a location that
was affordable and the rest is history. Angel’s, named after Andy’s
nickname for his wife, is now one of the most visited BBQ restaurants
in Savannah by both locals and tourists.
The best selling dishes include the Angel’s Special (pulled pork
sandwich with mustard coleslaw on top), Peanuts & Greens (collard
greens with peanuts) and their BBQ unique house sauces.
Angel’s is the literal “hole in the wall” restaurant. It is based on a
pirate theme, with pirate flags and posters decorating it’s walls. It
is a small, cozy place with an open small kitchen and outside seating.
With 51 years in the business, Teresa Weston juggled a teaching job
along with her BBQ restaurant business. Wall’s BBQ, named after
Teresa’s grandfather’s last name, is a small BBQ joint located in an
alley in York Ln that has witnessed the BBQ industry in Savannah
from its beginning. This “aggressively casual” restaurant, as defined
by the New York Times back in the day, is one of the most acclaimed
attractions for both locals and tourists in Savannah.
Ribs, ribs and ribs is what Wall’s BBQ customer’s are keen to dig
into when visiting this restaurant. Their traditional mustard based
BBQ sauce is a family secret passed down through generations that
combines perfectly with the moist texture of their ribs. Some collard
greens to top that off and it’s a masterpiece!
Wall’s BBQ has a homey, warm feeling like no other BBQ restaurant
in Savannah. Furniture, decoration, music and service all combine
perfectly to provide customers with the down to earth, home-style
experience they crave.
Johnny Harris opened its doors in 1924 as a roadside BBQ shack.
Currently, the restaurant has grown to become one of the largest
and most popular full service restaurants in the city of Savannah.
Additionally, since 1950, the official Johnny Harris Famous Bar-B-Que
Sauce Company was founded and can now be found in every local
Customers incline to the pulled pork topped with their signature
Johnny Harris BBQ sauce and their unique coleslaw recipe.
Johnny Harris is the largest BBQ restaurant in Savannah, divided in
two wings: a west wing for casual dining with comfortable booths and
individual tables, and an east wing for take out orders to be placed and
a large bar. The yellow lighting and wood walls and furniture create a
cozy and casual ambience despite the restaurant’s vast dimensions.
Sandfly has become one of the most well reviewed BBQ locations in
Savannah through Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon. This casual BBQ
joint is a popular must for locals and tourists who wish to engage in
the authentic BBQ experience.
Sandfly features North Carolina style home made sauces that combine
in symphony with their famous brisket and pork sandwiches. The most
popular side dishes are Brunswick stew and Mac and Cheese.
It’s a small place located at a strip mall, with a few picnic tables outside
and booths on the inside. Food is ordered at the counter and delivered
at your table, so waiting is conveniently done sitting down while enjoy-
ing the eclectic decoration on the walls.
As its name suggests, Wiley’s Championship BBQ is a multiple award
winning BBQ restaurant that has won its way into local and tourist
customers’ top of mind. Barbecue caterer and champion, Wiley
McCrary began his first catering business in Atlanta in ‘83 producing
large and small special events.
Wiley’s has several finger-liking savory BBQ options on its menu, but
brisket is by far the most acclaimed of them all. This special dish has
attracted not only customers but the media in general to showcase
Wiley’s as a Savannah’s must-see and won them several of their awards.
The ambience is casual, ideal for family or friends to dine in. Service
is fast and waiters make it their task to keep you comfortable and well
served. The walls are filled with their many awards and recognitions
from various BBQ championship events as well as articles and
publications on their business’ success.
We used shadowing as an observation method to better understand the daily
routine of pitmaster Andrew Trice while he goes through his BBQ cooking process.
We noted and documented the environment he cooks in, activities he engages in
and the technology (tools) he interacted with. A photo log and video were recorded
with the consent of the participant providing us with a comprehensive data set about
the patterns of actions, interdependence and behaviors between Andrew and his
context. We closely followed this experienced individual over a period of 40 minutes
and took field notes of the process. Frequent questions were asked for clarification
regarding the process of BBQ which prompted the participant to give a simultaneous
description on his or her actions and choices.
This section provides a snapshot of the interviews that we conducted
for the project. Full transcripts can be found in the appendix at the end.
We conducted semi-structured interviews to key players in the BBQ industry, which
gave us in-depth understanding about specific areas of interest we detected during
the observation. Key individuals were selected varying from restaurant owners
and BBQ aficionados to championship participants and faithful BBQ customers.
Interviews helped us explore our topic in detail and deepen our knowledge about
the culture of BBQ in Savannah with individuals of different background, which led us
to learn about domains of BBQ that we knew very, little about which became critical
for our data collection. An open-ended interview gave us the flexibility to explore
certain aspects of BBQ in depth and cover new topics as they aroused.
BIO: Retired teacher and owner of Wall’s BBQ, Teresa has
dedicated 51 years of her life to the BBQ business, keeping
alive her family tradition.
CHEF AND OWNER | WALL’S BBQ | SAVANNAH, GA
“I don’t know what people’s fascination with ribs are, I’ve been around them so
long that i barely eat them but that has always been a draw”
“I don’t know why he chose BBQ restaurant, it may be have been.... because he is actually
from South Carolina he was born and raised on a farm so maybe that had something to do
with his decision.”
“My grandmother retired in 79, gave it onto my mother, and after i went off to college
& came back I always thought it was a very good business and a definitely guaranteed
“Some people think BBQ as a smoking aspect and some people think its the sauce. You
throw sauce on it and its BBQ so it kinda meld that together so its not like what people
would traditionally think of BBQ being like a pit BBQ”
“Everything we do is centered around the grill. there is no wood chips, no open...no anything...”
“BBQ used to be thought as something that you would pull on the side of the road, its gotten
more mainstream and more accepted”
“About 85% of the people that come in here are actually tourists.”
One customer came in
BECAUSE SHE SAID SHE
had not had food like
this since her grandmother was alive
“The New York Times said that the decor was ‘aggressively casual’ and I like that because I want
people to come in and feel like this is their home and this is their dinning room, they can sit as
long as they want.”
“Smoking meat took way too long and it dint make an appreciable difference in taste
so I just put it in the oven.”
BIO:The pitmaster of Trick’s BBQ, Cyruss has been cooking
for the past 16 years, famous for his signature mustard based
BBQ sauce and delicious ribs.
PIT MASTER | TRICKS’S BBQ | SAVANNAH, GA
“I guess Savannah has a little for everyone but we haven’t got surface with BBQ yet.”
“Usually from savannah, a lot of people that move away they come to tricks when
they come to town.”
“No I got that from my older lady, she passed now but that was my old lady’s, I don’t even
know if that was her original recipe, but that’s what I got it from”
“We were doing a catering job for the former Mayor which was Odious Johnson” (referring
to his fondest memory regarding BBQ)
“So personally, I don’t eat a lot of BBQ, I cook it so much that I don’t eat it.”
“Some of my commons they say ‘you know what I want’”
“Well it starts with the grills, the person and the process that will grill, but most important are those
grills. If we don’t have those grills or the grills aren’t in condition then we can’t fulfill our jobs.”
“Some people like lots of sauce, others less sauce and some people just want it on theside. So we give them the variety of choices so it’s up to the customer what they prefer”
The business accommodates
or a person that is wealthy and
can come get WHATEVER he wants.
A PERSON THAT MAY HAVE
$3 IN THEIR POCKET,
BIO:BBQ championship participant and BBQ aficionado,
Marc is currently an Industrial Design graduate student
at Savannah College of Art and Design
BBQ AFICIONADO | STUDENT | SAVANNAH, GA
“I think about sitting for hours cooking food and having beer with friends over...”
“Being very caught up checking the temperature n everything not stressful
and relaxed and there is good food after that...”
“I think bbq as a smoker and grill is grilling”
“Part of the system I use, requires wrapping the meat in thick aluminum and
couple layers of that.”
“I try to find good places around here, and Savannah is really not known for its
food, and especially BBQ.”
“I cook alone most of the time, it’s fun when other come and help me out,
recently, my friend who I used to BBQ with moved away, so I don’t fire up smoker
all the time, since it’s a long process.”
I started making my
to see what is the
and using different
BEST FOR ME
TYPES OF WOOD
“In the United States there are different tastes of BBQ and like Texas is beef, in the
south it’s pork and there is different BBQ sauce that go with each one...”
“It isn’t really the place you would want to hang around, there is no place to sit
and eat, you can’t get any drinks there. but they just want you to get some food
there and leave and go somewhere else.“ (Referring to a to-go only BBQ joint)
BIO:Husband and devoted high school teacher, cooks
traditional BBQ by using creative solutions to work
around traditional equipment.
TEACHER | SAVANNAH, GA
“I think BBQ is crazy, you can’t limit yourself to one thing.”
“I was very cold that day because its Kansas .And there was a line out of the door and so like
we finally got in and we waited in the line and we got near the front we had to go all the way
back in the line because my friend was not there yet and then we got near the front and then
we had to go back again, third time he finally came.”
“Ribs are little more expensive, I tend to stay away from that, just because of the expense”
“If you order pulled pork and its terrible then it’s not a BBQ restaurant, they’re not going
to be in business. “
“Its weird because a lot of people just get chicken and grill it in your backyard and call it
BBQ, but to me BBQ is actually like a process, it takes a while to do that, it’s just not like
grilling steaks, because that’s not BBQ.”
“I wanted to kind of emulate a BBQ of a restaurant and still not pay so much.”
That is the nice part of BBQ,
but you don’t have to
HAVE ALL THESE
you don’t have to,
THEY ARE NICE,
YOU NEED NOT
“Kansas city is really into their sauce, I’m used to thick tomato sauce, and here there are
like watery mustard sauce!”
“Most BBQ places always have a line, the good ones always have a line.”
“If you want really good brisket though you have to go to Texas I think in my opinion that
is the place to get consistently good brisket.”
“Sometimes I have to get up at the middle of the night to get the meat out of the
refrigerator to let it rest so that it is the right temperature when you put it in the smoker.”
“I fell in love with the food on my plate.”
“I fell in love with all types of bbq and sort of developed an appreciation for the different
regionality aspects of BBQ.”
“It’s not like a lot of things you an cook and actually have some sense of stability on what
your outcome is going to be.”
“ ‘Death by BBQ’ what we called it because we went to 4 BBQ places in a day.”
“It’s weird because a lot of people just get chicken and grill it in your backyard and call it
BBQ, but to me BBQ is actually like a process, it takes a while to do that, it’s just not like
grilling steaks, because that’s not BBQ.”
BIO:Lawyer, mother, spouse and currently graduate student at
Savannah College of Art and Design, her passion for BBQ led
her to be a talented, self-taught, aficionado.
BBQ AFICIONADO | STUDENT | SAVANNAH, GA
“James of course (the husband) did the typical ‘Huh… not bad, these are decent’
haha... It’s just our little competition” (Referring to her cooking BBQ ribs)
“So I guess growing up in Alabama I always ate BBQ I don’t really remember liking in
one way or another…”
FAMILY and then a
an inner COMPETITION
BIO:BBQ aficionado, Shawn cooks for friends and family. He
has recently started bottling his own sauce for sale in local
stores throughout Georgia.
SAUCE MAKER | SOGGY BOTTOM | SAVANNAH, GA
“We just, a friend of ours just got married over this past week and we had the
reception in our house Friday night and we supplied the BBQ.”
“We cook at home and I just decided one day I was ready to get serious about smoking, so I
built a smoke house... it’s just one of those things that kind of evolved into something greater
out of our need.”
“We just, a friend of ours just got married over this past week and we had the reception in
our house Friday night and we supplied the BBQ.”
“‘Cause there is a difference, there is BBQ, and then there is grilling, and there’s smoking,
those are 3 totally different ways to cook; totally different heat.”
I usually start cooking
and it’ll cook from probably
IN THE MORNING
10 TO 15 HOURS
FROM 4 TO 5
“It came from liking to cook and friends and family telling me that I should put it in a bottle
and sell it, and you know that’s friends and family, that’s what they’re supposed to say, but it
started to getting shared with other people and we finally just decided to go for it and give it
a try and see what happened and so far we’ve had a good feedback on it.”
“Yeah, in the restaurants people will like to put sauce on it to try to hide the dryness, but if
you put sauce on it, most of the time, all you taste is sauce, you don’t taste the meat.”
BIO: Adventurer, hunter, and BBQ aficionado, Owen is
currently the Chair of Industrial design at the Savannah
College of Art and Design.
BBQ AFICIONADO | SCAD | SAVANNAH, GA
“It tends to be a family meal, we would bring more people together.”
“Probably being a kid and being able to sit around with adults hearing the stories when we
are putting the pig in and know that we are sitting and talking and people are checking and
stuff like that.”
“They (people who cook BBQ) understand BBQ as a plate and they still say they are BBQing
this weekend and it’s generally grilling and some BBQ say they are grilling when it’s actually
BBQing. While true BBQ is slow. That’s why I like cooking mine slow.”
“Well some people call BBQing, Grilling and grilling BBQing, it is just a cultural difference.”
“Well, Yes and No, they would let us play but we were not a really big part. We got to rub
things on it and help wrap it so yes we were part of it, but they didn’t need it.”
“Just as kids, It was given to us.”
BIO: South Carolina native, Savannah resident, Furniture
designer and BBQ lover who treats himself to great BBQ
BBQ LOVER | SAVANNAH, GA
“On special occasions we hit the BBQ joint (referring to his granfather’s 100th birthday).”
“More important to me in this type of food is the preparation style, it doesn’t really matter
how it looks.”
“Because you know it was smoked over an open flame.Has a bit of authenticity to it. OK. And
I mean thats the smoked flavor.”
“It was something that was put downtown to make money, where I feel like a place like this
the cooking style probably goes back generations and the restaurant grewout of that.”
“It’s pricy so I don’t eat it too often, but it is a treat when I do go... another reason why I don’t
go is most places don’t have vinegar based, which is my preference.”
“I don’t because I dont have a somker, but i have improvised before and used a crockpot haha.”
What I love about this,
That’s what’s up!
YOU SEE THAT
“Uhm, okay one thing that gets on my nerves is that when people say that they are going to
go and BBQ and they mean that they’re going to grill, a grill is not a BBQ.”
“That it’s not your stereotypical image ofBBQ culture... It’s as far away from corporate as you
BIO:Owner of Angel’s BBQ in Historic Downtown Savannah
and creator of the famous ghost pepper BBQ sauce which
landed him an episode on “Man vs Food.”
PIT MASTER | ANGEL’S BBQ | SAVANNAH, GA
“Live oak is super dense and thus great for bbq, because it takes forever to burn!”
“The best is what is available and cheap and what is affordable, and that is what makes BBQ. What
is around us is oak, so we use that. North Carolina nut wood, pecan because that is cheaper.”
“BBQ hates... hates hates hates sleeping on the steam table.”
“There is White bbq and there is Black bbq. Black bbq is mainly ribs and chicken , thats all
they do!. They like meat on the bone! and in White bbq they will do pulled pork and they
will go for different cut.”
“A whole hog takes 24hours, shoulder needs 12hour, time varies with the type of meat.”
“It’s magical in BBQ competition scenario because it comes all glistening with all natural juices
and all ready to go and that is what you want.”
slow cooking process
using wood at temperatures
until reaching an internal
TEMPERATURE OF 195°
BARBECUE IS A
“You have the weird ignorance factor, where people come in and ask for ribs, so I say we
don’t do ribs, we do pulled pork, and he would be like but i don’t eat pork... so I’m thinking
where do you think ribs are from?”
“Ideally! That’s the way it is suppose to be. Ideally!! But we can’t, this is restaurant BBQ, we
just put it on our steam table and wait for customers.”
“Certain cowboys say, we use only left brisket because it is more tender, because most cow
is right handed!”
Affinityzing helped us divide our collected information into specific data points and
re-organize them into groups that shared common, deeper meanings. Our first task
was to identify categories, concepts and/or themes that emerged from the gathered
information from both observation and interviewing.
Prior to that synthesis process we linked these concepts to substantive and formal
theories. Analysis started by producing transcripts of the interviews we conducted
and further pulling data from those categories, compare them and analyze how they
are related. This process was key to initiate building insights.
Insights is where we take all of the data we have gathered throughout our study
and the points from our affinity map and use these as fuel for opportunities for
design. Each insight contains a catchy name, a description of the overall idea, an
opportunity statement, and “how might we” statements that allude to possible
design solutions. The idea is that in-depth research will give way to designs that truly
resonate with the intended population, rather than addressing perceived wants and
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
“Cooking traditional BBQ is a very time consuming process with a lot
of down time. Consequently, customers looking for BBQ often wait a
considerable amount of time to obtain their meals. Patience is a part
of the process that requires dedication on both sides of the counter.”
There is an opportunity: to make the BBQ experience more enjoyable for
both the BBQers cooking or consuming.
How might we:
-Design experiences that make the process and waiting more enjoyable?
-Streamline this process as much as possible?
-Show BBQers that patience pays off
Creating a BBQ app in which BBQers share their common passion of
BBQ by accompanying each other through the cooking process. The
platform will allow the users to upload and share pictures, short videos
and short messages related to their cooking process as to create a sense
of companionship through a virtual portal, connecting people from
different regions and opening a gateway that encourages setting up
cook-offs, sharing techniques and creating a BBQ-centered community.
To engage customers while waiting in line, customers will have the oppor-
tunity to pin the meal they intend to order on the correct part of the animal
it came from. She will receive a pin labeled with her meal. After she will be
blindfolded and spun around, then attempt to pin the meal in the correct
position. If she is successful the customer will receive a small prize, and
possibly a small discount.
SAVANNAH’S HIDDEN TREASURE
“Savannah is known as one of the most popular historical tourist
destination in the U.S. At the moment, only Wall’s BBQ is part of
a food tour within Savannah.”
There is an opportunity: to harness Savannah’s current tourism and
introduce BBQ as a tourist attraction.
How might we:
-Make BBQ an appealing tourist attraction?
-Grow a positive BBQ reputation amongst tourists?
-Create more BBQ centered events in Savannah?
-Incorporate BBQ into already existing events and tours?
-Build BBQ awareness amongst tourists and locals?
Creating a digital platform that allows customers to upload photos
of their meals and share their first experience at that BBQ restaurant.
At each new BBQ restaurant customers visit and show the uploaded
photo of their experience, they get a badge with that restaurant’s logo.
Once the customer has visited all affiliated BBQ restaurants in Savannah
and completed his badge collection, they receive a “City BBQ Badge.”
This platform can be replicated in other cities in the state of Georgia and
expand nationally, incentivizing BBQ-oriented tourism and strengthening
the BBQ culture.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
“People gravitate towards warm, cozy environments that take them back
to memories of home. They feel comfortable in places where they can be
casual and engage in informal conversations while interacting with others.”
There is an opportunity: to replicate experiences that evoke the emotions
associated with BBQ in a familiar setting.
How might we:
-Create an environment that engages personal interaction and conversation?
-Recreate the ambience of “home” in BBQ restaurants?
-Create approachable businesses?
Creating a “family style” atmosphere that would have different groups of
people sit with each other at large tables promoting interaction and a sense
of community. Customers could share stories about BBQ and there favorite
styles. After completing their meal, the waiter will snap a photo of the group
and it will be displayed on a slideshow in the waiting area of the restaurant.
BOLD, FEARLESS, BBQ
We base our views about BBQ upon our past experiences and backgrounds.
Every individual adjusts his/her uniqueness to any part of the process of
cooking BBQ by making the best out of the equipment, materials, time and
demand that they may have. They always find a workaround to whichever
circumstance that gets in the way of their BBQ process and are ready to
experiment and create solutions with what is available to them.
There is an opportunity: to showcase the different ways BBQers work around the
cooking process to fit their needs.
How might we:
-Encourage people to cook BBQ more frequently?
-Create more group activities that incentivize interaction?
-Share, practice and create a less intimidating mentality towards the BBQ
-Celebrate failure to encourage learning new things through a trial and error
Creating a delivery system to which users can subscribe to receive a monthly
supply of unusual cooking ingredients and tools from different cultures with
which they are challenged to push their creative cooking abilities to create a
unique, out of the box, BBQ meal.
FOOD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
Restaurant perspective: We don’t need to seduce or work at bringing
people in. The power is in the food. Customers’ perspective: We don’t
care about the bells and whistles, they are not what speaks to us, it’s
what’s on the plate that calls us back again and again propelled by our
cravings, not the posters or ads on the wall. Food is what calls us.
There is an opportunity: to maximize the current viral reality and encourage
effective means of employment to create positive word of mouth and
making it all about the food.
How might we:
-Create a space to stimulate customers to express their BBQ experiences?
-Educate businesses about effective means of viralization to promote
-Reach a broader audience to increase BBQ’s popularity?
-How do we make BBQ a hero?
Postcards featuring the restaurant’s signature dish with the activity’s
instructions on the back will be set on the tables. Customer’s will then
snap a photo of themselves taking the first bite of their BBQ meal,
upload it to a digital platform and tag the BBQ restaurant they’re visiting.
A selection of the best photos will then be showcased on billboards with
the phrase “Awesome BBQ” and the restaurant’s name and address.
This will encourage customers to share their BBQ experiences while
increasing word of mouth and advertising individual brands in a cohesive
campaign to raise BBQ awareness. Additionally, all photos will we posted on
the campaign’s blog where restaurants will have links to their own webpages.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
BBQers often seek new underground places, ingredients and processes
to discover new flavors and experiences.
There is an opportunity: to stimulate an exchange of information of BBQers
latest adventures while cooking or searching for BBQ.
How might we:
-Create an opportunity to connect people with a
sense of adventure for BBQ?
-Help people discover new BBQ related places?
-Encourage people to seek out adventure?
Creating a digital map that users can navigate in and post locations where
they have had a positive BBQ experience. Users will be able to label and
categorize locations by placing an icon on the map that identifies the
location as a restaurant, shop, or event. Users may see the post of others
and inform themselves of ongoing and upcoming BBQ-related events as
well as of new or underground BBQ equipment shops or restaurants.
THE SECRET TO GREAT
BBQ IS KEEPING IT SECRET
Many BBQers, amateur and professional alike, tend to be very
secretive about their recipes because they’re vital to their success.
Their recipes make BBQers unique amongst each other, therefore
giving them a sense of identity.
There is an opportunity: to strengthen the trust between BBQers while
maintaining a healthy competition.
How might we:
-Motivate BBQers to interact with each other?
-Create a trustworthy environment within the BBQ community?
-Build loyalty within the BBQ community?
-Create a “Code of conduct” for the BBQ community
-How do we create a profitable bond between BBQers while still
maintaining their identity?
Compile a “Secret BBQ cookbook” where aficionados’ recipes get
published. The recipes would not be completely revealed, allowing
the BBQ aficionado to pick which part of the process or ingredients
to be left out. The cookbook would be designed to digitally blur,
scratch, stain or rip out a piece of each page, as to hide the most
secret part of the recipe.
-Sense of acknowledgement
-Creates curiosity and promotes experimentation
ANYTHING YOU BBQ,
I CAN BBQ BETTER
BBQers have a high sense of confidence in their BBQ skills and believe
that their BBQ is the best. Competitiveness incentivizes a continuous
effort to “better their best”.
There is an opportunity: to facilitate a space to express competitiveness
and increase profitability.
How might we:
-Bring competition to the pitmasters?
-Use the competition as a means to increase profitability?
-Encourage restaurant pitmasters to participate?
Creating a “BBQ Month” in Savannah, much like a restaurant week,
to build awareness and increase profitability for the BBQ restaurants.
This will be a joint venture between all BBQ restaurants in Savannah to
promote the industry as a whole and therefore increase their sales.
Throughout the BBQ month, customers will have the opportunity
to vote for their favorite restaurants and dishes within the greater
Savannah area. T-shirts will be designed for customers to purchase and
identify themselves with their favorite BBQ restaurant and increase
word of mouth. The overall winners will receive a “Best of Savannah
BBQ Month” trophy to display in their establishment for an entire year
and will be featured in blogs and local magazines.
MAY- BEST OF SAV BBQ MONTH WILEY’S
BBQ can be acquired at a young age by children who were born into it.
BBQ is a tradition that is passed down through generations. By default,
it becomes a part of their routine, even if they aren’t involved in the
cooking process. Therefore, their relationship with the BBQ culture is
There is an opportunity: to involve young “enthusiasts” in activities that
allow them to learn and positions them for success in the future.
How might we:
-Involve young talent in the BBQ culture?
-Encourage young talent to pursue a future in BBQ?
-Apply the principles of BBQ in molding children into young adults?
-Provide them an opportunity to use BBQ as a way to teach them about
-Maintain kids interest/curiosity on BBQ?
Creating a BBQ children’s foundation with the support of all local BBQ
restaurants using the cooking process to teach them life lessons. The
foundation will provide a space for children to engage in after school
activities and facilitate them with computer access.
Restaurants will be able to donate by catering weekend events for
the children to participate in and interact with their BBQ customers.
Restaurants will be able to promote these events to their customers
by inviting them to donate money and/or volunteer for the weekend
EASY? NO... WORTH IT?
BBQ cooks often put in extra effort and sacrifice time and resources to
create delicious BBQ meals for others. They challenge themselves and
commit to the hard work in order to please others.
There is an opportunity: to acknowledge the efforts of the cooks and show
them appreciation in return for their commitment.
How might we:
-Create a space to deliver feedback?
-Keep them motivated?
-Create awareness in the consumer of the efforts of cooks?
-Reciprocate their dedication?
-Say “thank you” through actions?
Providing customers with different means to become aware of the
extra effort the BBQ cooking process requires by enabling them to
participate in a “saying thank you” culture. Customers will show their
appreciation to pitmasters behind the counter by ringing a bell that
will be located in restaurants’ main entrance to let the pit masters know
they loved their meal.
Restaurants will neatly package sandwiches in a way that it allows
customers to eat their meal more easily. This will instill the idea that the
restaurants is going the extra mile to cater to the customer and make
the most of his experience, thus encouraging the customer to recipro-
cate by one of the previous mentioned activities or leaving a higher tip.
SCOPE: The Culture of BBQ in Savannah, GA.
INTERVIEW DATE: 11.01.14
INTERVIEWEE: Matt and Amanda Luiso
LOCATION: Sandfly, Savannah, GA
) When and where do you usually eat BBQ?
We just moved to savannah...So we have not found any yet. But I have made BBQ thrice in savannah. When I was
in Charleston, we got it!... there were couple of places we went. Whenever I went back home, in Kansas, we have
it very often....
Ya when we go home we have it pretty much every single day
last Christmas we had BBQ four times
We were only there for a week!
We were only there for a week. It was like BBQ every night. It was great!
Which are the places you have been in savannah?
Well here, that’s it!
we have been making it at home over here
Ya at home
3) Which is your favourite BBQ dish?
I don’t know man!... I like it all
4) Any meat you like in partcular?
It just depends. I think BBQ is crazy, you can’t limit yourself to one thing. You have pulled pork, you got ribs and
some place you get turkey sausage and chicken. you can’t really limit yourself to one dish. And that’s nice about
BBQ. one place might specialize in ribs, another in sauce....what not. If you go to places that specialize in sauces
you should get pulled pork, if you have a place that specialize in rib, then have rib.
5) What do you usually order at a BBQ restaurant?
Generally words get out. But if you are going first time there then pulled pork is really hard to mess up on. You
can’t mess with pulled pork, If you order pulled pork and its terrible then it’s not BBQ restaurant, they’re not going
to be in business. Ribs are little more expensive, I tend to stay away from that, just because of the expense, and
ribs vary from location to location, so play it safe first time and then go up.
I would like to interrupt and suggest you to go to tricks, it is insanely good, you pay under 10 bucks for a huge
amount of ribs and they were unbelievable!.
Oh I love ribs but you usually don’t find good ones
At least for what I have had, and even Andrew thinks , it’s really good. You get them only to go, may be that’s why
they are cheaper.
I love ribs ill definitely try.
Waitress brings in everybody’s food.
Here is Brunswick stew and the fried okra. Who got the pork sandwich with coleslaw and fries
I dint order any fries, just coleslaw.
Here are your fries and here is sandwich with Mac and cheese.
Oh those are my fries
switch the containers.
6) Which is your favorite sauce among the three?
I don’t know, depends on the day I think
Do you see how that is, that’s what I’m saying
I always like the sweet ones for some reason, vinegar based ones I don’t love much, mustard base is good.
Kansas city is really into their sauce, I’m used to thick tomato sauce, and here there are like watery mustard
these are weird to me
what is that?
these are fried okra
7)Do you recall last time you had BBQ?
They weren’t that good!.Oh no!.. I take that back. It was last time I went to Kansas, this past December, I had four
things of BBQing in five days , It was good.
8) Can you describe your entire experience of the last time you had BBQ? Whom you were with? where you were?
It was with my friend Joe and his girlfriend , and it was really cold
Oh ya my wife
I was very cold that day because its Kansas .And there was a line out of the door and so like we finally got in and
we waited in the line and we got near the front we had to go all the way back in the line because my friend was
not there yet and then we got near the front and then we had to go back again, third time he finally came.
We dint want to order until he got there exactly, because if they had got the food out before, it would just have
become cold. But that line was a good 45 minutes long no no, not 45 minutes, 30 minutes long
9) What did you do in the time you’ll were waiting?
We were just talking about random stuff It was a lot like this place, with all these things around(pointing at the
paintings and poster), so you could check out the decor and .... well that gets old after a time, to be honest we
just talk about stuff...... Most BBQ places always have a line, the good ones always have a line. Like even this one.
This one has a line. With generally at least two or three people.
10) Do you know about any BBQ places in savannah?
I want to check out Wileys. I go on trip advisor, that like number one ranked BBQ place in savannah. It’s probably
because more people know about it. and I think this place is number 2. Other ones might not get ranked because
they are so low or people just not vote.
11) Trip advisor is the only place you look at or any other website you refer?
Oh ya ya, probably urban spoon!.Urban spoon I’m not a big fan of... because if it’s like 88% rating, it sounds good
but if only 4 people review, then it’s like well!.... I don’t know. I kind of look at all and see the rating over all. Be-
cause when you look, its weird because they all already have Google star. I’ve always found the process of logging
on Google and rating stuff very tedious and I tend to not even look at that.
12) Why do you pick up a specific restaurant for BBQ?
What’s your criteria?
Well generally I try not to get a place too expensive. I mean, as you guys know BBQ is like... u have $35 some-
times for a plate. For me that’s like too much. I kind of like to go for the cheaper stuff. Sometimes it’s about con-
venience too!.I mean in my hometown I used to live like 5 maybe 8 block away, so I used to just walk down.
13) So what does BBQ mean to you?
Oh man!. Its weird because a lot of people just get chicken and grill it in your backyard and call it BBQ, but to me
BBQ is actually like a process, it takes a while to do that, it’s just not like grilling steaks, because that’s not BBQ.
BBQ to me is like pig and cow, slow cooking and taking the time, and really making it look nice and awesome.
14)Do you know how to cook BBQ?
Well I’m trying, I’m trying.. some people say it’s really good but it’s not as good as these restaurants. I’m working
on pulled pork .
15) What is the process you usually follow to cook a BBQ?
At home?. The first thing I do, generally the night before, is make my rub! that generally includes like brown
sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, some cumin, some coriander , I mix it all up in a zip lock bag, so that’s the night
before. Next day morning I have to get up early because you need to cook pulled pork at 225 degrees for at
least 8 hours , so you got to get it on early, in order for it to cook in time. So I buy pork shoulders, So what I do is
30 minutes before I put it on and rub it in into the meat, so I let it sit there so that the meat gets rubbed in for like
30 minutes, so that is when the grill is getting on to the temperature. then I will just throw it on the grill and like
check it every hour and after that ill it gets around 225 inside, no no sorry till it gets 180 degree inside , then I will
bring it in and let it rest for about 30 minutes and start pulling it with 2 forks , that’s it. It’s not perfect!... but I’m
getting there. It’s not perfect because we are doing it on a grill so its not really made for that, so we have to turn
the gas down to low I have to turn the gas down to almost when it barely spits out propane and then we have to
crack the lid just to get it to 225 and maintain the temperature and all of a sudden the burner is low setting and
it’s a real pain, smoker is what you really need. Ribs are really tough to cook I can’t cook them you have tried that,
it just doesn’t really work! Ya it doesn’t work, it comes out really too stringy Pork butt has too much fat on it so it
keeps it soft and moist
16 )How did you get into cooking BBQ?
I like it, I can’t afford it. I do think about it. a buck 99 for a pound of meat is really cheap and to be honest you get
pork shoulders for a buck 99, it’s a cheaper quality meat, and that’s nice about BBQ that it’s a cheap meat and yet
you can make it really good. So... I guess I’m cheap, but I like it, I wanted to kind of emulate a BBQ of a restau-
rant and still not pay so much.
17)What about the sauces? do you make them? or buy them?
I buy them. Sauces are different thing. A lot of people don’t realize it how big the animal is , because just perfect-
ing the meat is just half the battle then all of a sudden if you are a sauce person, there are thousands of sauces
out there and they are just more, more and more. Like my wife’s family makes their own sauce . It’s like champion-
ship sauce . There is a BBQ championship that grade you on the taste but there is also another championship
where they grade you on the sauce.
18)Where do you generally buy your sauces from?
Generally I’ll go to Kroger, I try not to buy like the cheap sauces though, I’ll try to buy more of a specialty. Which is
interesting because Kroger is doing that more and more, they are actually getting into the specialty sauces .
19) Where do you buy your meat from?
I buy that from Kroger as well. You know like sometimes on a special in Kroger you get pork shoulder at a buck
99 so I just bought a big 15 pound of pork shoulder and we still have it left at home. And that will be there for a
20)What are the other tools you use to BBQ?
I don’t think you need and specialized tool for BBQ, Smoker would be nice.
Meat thermometer, that’s the key.
Ya meat thermometer , that’s about it. And that nice, that is what BBQ is all about, I mean we are from Kansas.
BBQ was there because the slaughter yards were there so they used to slaughter the cows there, while the work-
ers could not afford the strips and the nice pieces of meat, so they used to buy the terrible things. And they dint
have money to buy tools and everything. still they made really nice meat even after having terrible cuts. So that is
the nice part of BBq you need not have all these major tools, you don’t have to, they are nice, but you don’t have
21) Which is your fondest memory with respect to BBQ?
One of my birthdays, I wanted to negro hall of fame in kansas city and i went to opening day royals game....
He is a big baseball fan ya.. I’m a big baseball fan, and then after all that we went to this BBQ restaurant in this
rough neighborhood in Kansas city, it’s just like awesome. It’s called the Arthur Bryant’s. It’s like one of the oldest
places. I’ll be honest you go in there and they will be like screaming at you and will be like” what do you want”
and your kind of spoofed and you don’t want to irritate him and keep your money ready. but that was great
because it was just the combination of the entire day . Like everything that was good about the city to hit it like
boom boom boom and that was my fondest memory.
But when I first went into this restaurant. They yell are you, they are like NEXT and you are like be ready with what-
ever you want and I was like quiet and shy person and there are 10 people down the line and you have to yell
from up here to down there and they were like super intimidating and I dint go there for long. It was loud with the
fan running and music going.
22) Describe your favourite day off, what would it look like? activities? location? company? weather?
My favourite day off is just lounging and relaxing. If I just dint have to get off the bed. Make some coffee and just
sit there and watch some sport. I like to be inside and relaxing.
If you had to describe BBQ in three words what would it like to be?
Awesome..... I would hate to say awesome awesome awesome but I would say Tasty, hard, like hard to make and
complex. Because I think there is so much stuff to it, like you can put the rub on it, you can put sauce.
SCOPE: The Culture of BBQ in Savannah, GA.
INTERVIEW DATE: 10.30.14
INTERVIEWEE: Billy Nisbet
LOCATION: Sandfly BBQ, Savannah, GA
(Andrew) Billy, today we are going to be conducting an interview with you on The Culture of BBQ in Savannah. We will be using audio, video,
and taking pictures to help document your answers. This interview will last close to an hour and will involve travelling to a BBQ restaurant
of your choosing. Is all of this okay with you?
(Billy) Yep, no problem.
Great, ready to begin?
Let’s do this...
OK, Well we’ll start here at your apartment and we would like you to pick the BBQ restaurant you would like to go to and if youcould, verbal-
ize what your thoughts are and what your process might be.
OK... well if I am going to a new place to eat I usually spend some time on my phone and look up places using
Google and Urban Spoon, I like to read reviews and look at the kind of food they serve... (talks into phone) Best
Barbecue places in Savannah... (Phone) Here are the results for best BBQ places in Savannah... Alright we got
Blowin Smoke, and Smokehouse,been there so I gonna look at Willey’s... It’s got some good stars going... Shit
looks bangin Um! Im gonna go to Urban Spoon...they have a better than sex sauce, interesting... not a lot of
info... I’d be interested in going to Wiley’s because it was the top hit and I’ve never been there and don’t know
where it is... Alright... So let me look at two other options... Alright.... Ok, so sandfly, also hadn’t been there, also
rated very highly... go to the website.The logo is a pig that’s flying like a sandfly, that’s cute they might have got-
ten me right there... and there is no information on how they cook it... they have Brunswick Stew which leads me
to believe they have Vinegar based because that is a North Carolina stew so I’m gonna go with sandfly.
Alright, lets do it... (Drive to Sanfly BBQ).... Pick up ordering food at Sandfly...(Cashier) Y’all ready? I’m gonna need
a minute..Oh, Ok I’m gonna go ahead and take this phone call then
Go ahead that’s fine(Talking to Andrew, while waitress is taking phone order, points at pulled pork plater on menu)
That’s probably what I’m gonna get, two sides, Okra, oh baby!... Should I drool... It smells so good in here... (Or-
ders) I’m gonna do the pulled pork plateum... are the special sides extra? Yes, 75 cents extra
I’ll do collards and mac ‘n cheese Would you like something to drink?Just an ice water pleaseUm... I’ll do the
pulled pork plate as well, and I will do mac ‘n cheese and fries and a regular drink as wellIs this for hereYes
ma’am, Marce are you going to get anything?(Marce) Yeah, I’ll have just onion rings please, large$27.83 please,
would you like a copy of your reciept?Yeah, sureOkay, if you could sign that for me... Thank you!Thank you!
We’ll bring it right out to y’all(Seated at table)(Trying Sauces) Tangy!... Dude, that’d be good on some ribs...
Sweet tangy BBQ! (Singing with audio) Yeahhhh, you really gotme goin... really got me... really got me...OK, are
you ready Billy, ready to start this?YeahAlright, Um... So how often do you eat BBQ? Um... 3 times a years 3 times
a year... Is there a reason why, specifically 3 times a year? when and where do you usually eat it?I’d go with 4, I’d
go with 4 actually, no I just uh... it’s pricey so I don’t eat it too often, but it is a treat when I do go... another reason
why I don’t go is most places don’t have vinegar based, which is my preference
So when and where do you usually eat BBQ?
When I am in North Carolina visiting family
Do you visit family, is that 3 to 4 times a year that you visit family? Do you make a BBQ trip?
Yeah we always go, Smithfields.I
s that all year long? Just everytime you go up?
Yep, it’s not seasonal, just when it’s available.
So... what is your favorite BBQ dish? What do you usually order when you go to a BBQ restuarant?
BBQ sandwhich... Coleslaw, BBQ, Bread
Is there a certain type of meat that you prefer?
Pulled PorkIs there a reason
why you prefer it, other than you just do?
Uh, texture is better to me, its like more tender, flavor.
Ok, um... do you remember the last time you had BBQ? other than today?Y
eah, it was in North Carolina
Can you describe that experience to us? Where were you? Who were you with? and what you ate?It was at smithfields restaurant
which is a chain, In North Carolina, I think they are only in North Carolina, Vinegar based BBQ, North Carolina
style BBQ, um... also they have really good fried chicken, but I always get the BBQ. My grandfather and I went
after I took him out thrift shopping, he’s turning 100 next month, and yeah we both got pulled pork sandwiches
and split a fry... it was delicious.(Server) Onion rings? Fries and Mac? Mac and Collards?Thank You! Oh my! Ok
um, yeah I think that’s probably it. We both got sandwiches, coleslaw... coleslaw on the sandwiches.
So you mentioned your grandfather, and that he is 100, is that a special occasion for you? I don’t know how often you get tosee him.. Do
you get to see him very often? and is going to get BBQ a typical journey or activity that you do with him?Yeah, Yeah it’s
either that or McDonalds haha but on special occasions we hit the BBQ joint. Spending time with my grandfather
is special, he’s one of my favorite people... (Talking about BBQ) One thing I judge my BBQ joint by is if they have
this (PepperSauce) Because you can’t have collards without having that. Interesting... So am I your first interview?
Uh Hm... so tell me why Texas Peete Pepper Sacue is sp pertinant to you and collards?
I guess I have a thing for vinegar, because it is a vinegar based sauce, and it’s just marinated peppers in it. It gives
it a little more kick, al little more flavor. Collards on their own are great but they don’t have a ton of flavor.
Is that something you discovered on your own?
My aunt, she makes collards on New years day. Black eyed peas, collards and fried chicken every day on new
years day and the whole family gets together and we go over. we go through like ten bottles of that stuff... Family
events on my mothers sidea lot of times one of my uncles will do a pig, a grilled pig. It’s usually more often fried
turkey, but sometimes roasted pig.Which kinds of family get togethers? Christmas, Thanksgiving... We have a
large family so thats the only time everybody gets together. Oh my god, that mac ‘n cheese might be the best I’ve
ever had... Have you tried it?
Yeah, I had it here last time
Oh my god, I’m moving to sandfly. Like I would say this is the first good BBQ I’ve had in Savannah
Really? Well that kind of leads into our next question, do you know of any BBQ places in Savannah?
Yeah, Blowin Smoke, uh... there was one where Blowin Smoke used to be, I don’t remember the name... uh, Sticky
Fingers, I’ve eaten at that Smoke Station. What I love about this, you see that char (Pointing to a specific area on
his BBQ Plate) that’s what’s up.
And why is that important to you when you’re eating BBQ?
Because you know it was smoked over an open flame.Has a bit of authenticity to it. OK. And I mean thats the
So what was your experience like at the places you mentioned before?
Uhmm... The pork on its own didnt have a lot of flavor, unlike this, the flavor was based upon their sauce recipe,
which this I probably won’t even put sauce on it. and this... for me there is two distinctions... this isn’t anything like
Smithfields, they are two completely different types of BBQ, where Smithfields isn’t pit smoked, uh its just cooked
in the vinegar to break it down,so it’s just two completely different styles but I like not having to put sauce on it.
That’s great... Alright, you kind of harped on this a little earlier when you where picking which restuarant you were going tog o to since
it is your interview, but just to reiterate, why did you pick this specific restuarant to go to? and kinda tell us aboutyour selection
process for this and how you would go about picking a place to eat. Well I had not been satisfied by the three
places i’d been to in town, um, so this is one I hadnt tried, like I said i saw the frogmore stew, or whatever the stew
was, and thats a North Carolina specialty The Brunswick Stew, Brunswick, so based on that I thought it would be a
vinegar based BBQ, a North Carolina style BBQ which is my preference.... and the flying piggy, that did it.
Haha so we noticed you used your phone to help you make your decision. is that something that you often do?
Yeah I read connect every week so a lot of my food decisions are based on what I see in there or in the newspa-
per, butsomething like this, in looking for something new and I don’t have a frame of reference uh I would go to
google and use urban spoon to see others reviews and to learn more about about the restaurant before I make
Are pictures of the food and restuarant important in the process as well?
It can be, I didn’t look at any on that one, more important to me in this type of food is the preparation style, it
doesn’t reallymatter how it looks.
So really what sold you here was mainly the name Brunswick in the Brunswick Stew.
Yeah, YeahAnd your prior knowledge (about loctaion of Brunswick)Yeah... and the fact that it’s not a chainYeah,
would you describe those other restuarants that you mentioned before as chains, or as different places?
Uh, smithfields is a chain, but they were based off of a Mom and Pop operation and then they just expanded that
same recipeuh, blowin smoke, i don’t think it was a chain, but it wasn’t an established old business, it was some-
thing that was put downtown to make money, where I feel like a place like this the cooking style probably goes
back generations and the restaurant grew out of that. Um and then sticky fingers chain, nothing really special
about that... and I think Smoke Station might be a chain. and I did just see some pepper flakes in here... In this
instance have you ever seen how they make it?
Well we kinda watched a process, but were still new to this...
You take a whole pig, lay him upside down, spread him out so his legs are like splayed out, leave the skin on, poor
in the vinegar pepper sauce... so basically my favorite sauce is the pepper flakes, soak it in vinegar for two weeks
and they disintegrate, the vinegar disintegrates the pepper flakes so its infused into the vinegar, then while its
over the open pit you poor it over the pig and the skin keeps the juices in so its like a container and bits of those
skin is where it’s at too.I’ve had it like that too..The ear, the cheek... Um... Texas Toast! I am defiantly coming back
So what is BBQ mean to you Billy?The word?Just in general?
Um, okay one thing that gets on my nerves is that when people say that they are going to go and BBQ and they
mean that they’re going to grill, a grill is not a BBQ, hahahaha... BBQ means a smoker Okay great, so that leads
us right into the next question... so obviously you do have some knowledge of how BBQ is cooked.
Doyou cook BBQ? and if so what process do you go through when preparing, and cooking BBQ.I don’t because I dont have a somker,
but i have improvised before and used a crockpot haha... just to see if I could do it, and I used a a leftover pig leg
from BBQ my uncle made, so I had some vinegar sauce I had made and I slow cooked it in there for6 hours so it
was after it was grilled or smoked. Um and then just infused it with that sauce.
So you mentioned the vinegar sauce that you did with it, do you make any other sauces or rubs?I try to cook everything from
scratch that I cook, uh... sometimes I’ll by seasoning blends but not usually, usually I’ll buyindividual ingrediants
but I don’t use rubs very much becuase I don’t have a grill. Which we plan on changing but we can’tagree on a
format.Here is something completely different...
If you could describe your favorite day off, so your favorite free day, what wouldit look like? Activities, locations, alone or company, the
weather? Everything...Today is my day off, I am doing everything exactly what I wan’t to be doingIs this your perfect
day off?I would have liked to have gotten up earlier, I got up at 9, eh so I dont know. I read the news for like an
hour haha... got trapped on youtube for a little bit... had planned on coming to get lunch, which is a special thing
for me, you wouldn’t know (talking to Marce) but usually I eat at home, I usually make all my food and never go
out to eat, um... and then football game tonight, but during the day I either wanted to play soccer or golf and
then go to the gym, after that football, eat more copious amounts ofbad, unhealthy food, and then go into a
diabetic coma... uh around 11 hahaha I’m loosening my belt as we speak...would you like some more water?Yes
pleaseI’m good, but thanks
So as you look around the BBQ restuarant that we are in right now, how does this surrounding feel to you? Is this what youimagine when you
think of BBQ?
I love the beer bottle tops, uh... Theres a place back in Pualy’s Island that I loved called The Pit, Pualy’s Island
Tavern,its like real dark and not grungy but there were dollar bills stapled all to the walls and al to the cielings and
it doesn’t lookanything like this but there is something similar in that it is unique in the eclectic suroundings, in
that it is not traditional,you got that thing (points to hanging beads, skull beads that you walk through, old signs,
got the almond brothers right there,cool beer signs, I dont know its just neat, even the color pallete like this green
that red, bright, vibrant, not boring... those chairs are hidieous.
So when you think of BBQ is this...its not what I would think of...It isn’t?
OK... But you’re saying that you enjoy it...I would not expect to see a Rolling Stones poster in a BBQ joint you
know? I think mor country western, or down south old wood not painted um.. old wood floors where this is like
we got rock ‘n roll playing um... its different, best BBQ I’ve had here...And you’re saying you enjoy it...But I love
it, yeah I like it, it’s different but I think thats what I like about it. It’s got character.It’s almost as if that youre trying
to say that it has character, that it is authentic, that its not your stereotypical image ofBBQ culture...Its as far away
from corporate as you could get. Exposed timber, you know...
Do you think that speaks to the quality of BBQ that you would expect to get here, maybe? I don’t know, I am not trying toput words in your
mouth...Yeah, Yeah i think that it says that the BBQ sells itself, they dont have to try to sell the BBQ image, they
have their image,let the food speak for the food.Cool, Great. Ok
If you could describe BBQ in 3 words, what would they be?Like....It doesn’t have to be a sentance, it can be 3 random
words...Yeah... Pig.... Smoke...... Smile Smile...
I don’t think I’ve ever had BBQ and not been happy. That’d be a cool BBQ joint though... Pig, Smike, Smile...
Just for reference, or just for us, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born on the beaches of Normandy.... Nooo I really wasn’t, I’m from Mrytle Beach, South Carolina...Ok,
uhhh, I worked in a lot of restaurants... Um... Studied furniture design at SCAD, Played on the Golf Team... Um, 31,
generally awesome... I don’t know, and with food I think I have a good palate, good taste for food, been aroud
it a lot, I like to cook, love to eat... copious amounts of food... Um Yeah.Ok Great, well you finsih eating and well
do one last thing...I can keep going...You have to write stuff down so I dont want you food to get cold, take your
time.I think Im gonna take the rest home... I want more for later, dont want to throw it up at the gym... Soccer is in
danger...I’m not lying I think that is the best mac ‘n cheese I’ve ever had... I wonder how they get that texture, you
like mac ‘ncheese?Yeah, I don’t super love it, like its not something that we do that much, didn’t I try it last time?
I think I didI’m gonna get a box... Oh my god that was good (takes deep breath) and theres the smile, theres the
Ok so what do I do here (Looking at postcard)Ok, so what we have here is a cute little postcard form the Bar•Be•Crew, what we would like
you to do is write someonespecial and tell them about your fondest memory involving BBQ...
Did you make this up? Ever?Ever! Fondest memory you have with barbeque...(jokingly) wrapping up this interveiw,
with a full stomach of barbeque is my fondest memory... Um... Write to someone special...is it a particular person?
Yeah, it could be...(Writes down memory on postcard) This pen sucks (jokingly)...
(Pen Dros) Thank you, Sir!Uh huh...Fantastic, it was great...It was great...Alright Billy, thank you for your time, we really appreciate it, is
there anything else you would like to add before we conclude this interview?
I think that’s it, thank y’all for the BBQ, and thank Sandfly BBQ for the best BBQ I have ever had.
SCOPE: The Culture of BBQ in Savannah, GA.
INTERVIEW DATE: 11.3.14
INTERVIEWEE: Owen Foster
LOCATION: Gulfstream Center for Design, Savannah, GA
(priyanka)How often do you eat BBQ?
(Owen)Generally twice a month
When and where do you usually eat BBQ?
Here in savannah or where. In general? In a restaurant? If I’m at home I eat with family
In savannah where do you generally go?
In savannah I have tried all of them because each one of them has a different characteristic and especially with the
(Andrew)Do you have any specific example?
Oh say like blowing smoke , they have a little bit different….. its not as traditional and then they tend to make
their own sauce. Blowing smoke tries to be fancy with their and some are hole in the wall, what I would call them
traditional BBQ pits tend to use an old recipe and then come through and of course you know different regions
in south has different mustard and vinegar
What are the places you know in savannah that serve BBQ?
I don’t know by name, but probably there are five to six different locations in savannah.
Do you remember any particular one that you think is the best?
Ummmm…. I don’t think I have a best.
Can you share any experience with us?
The last one I wen to for blowing smoke, we’ll talk about that .I ordered the BBQ plate and things like that , and
where I’m from Alabama ,coleslaw and all that came with it, but here its not like that much, there is just some
fancy slaw in the side. So….. Its more of a…. upscale place ….bowing smoke than a traditional where they have a
big cooker out pack and you just pull it out off just like that
What is your favorite BBQ dish, or what do you generally order in a BBQ restaurant?
I normally get the large sandwich, tend to go, with a little hot or sweet taste, I love coleslaw on it. Traditionally
when I grew up we put mayonnaise on it. Some slaw already have mayonnaise in it and some are vinegar based,
so it depends on what they have. Fries tend to come along with it but I prefer baked beans and corn on the cob.
Any meat you prefer the most among all of them?
No, I tend to like shredded meat than the full big slices. Because for me it tends to get messy, so the smaller it is
the easier it to consume the rest of the stuff with it.
Do you prefer pork or beef? Or something like that?
No, but I tend to eat pork more rather than beef but to me it’s either or.
There is no reason you prefer one over the other?
No traditionally people do pork more than they do beef. but beef is fine with me too.
What does BBQ mean to you?
I would say it’s more of traditional family meal. we used to cook 4 pigs and make our own BBQ. we do them on
ground pits and we also have 20 feet smoker
so we cook chickens and porks and rib, all at the same time. It tends to be a family meal, we would bring more
Was it a weekend thing?
Sometimes it was every weekend.
Why do you select a particular restaurant?
I tend to go... wait, Just BBQ, I’m adventurous, so I would go to traditional places where everyone else is going,
but I love finding the people who hand a shanty shack, the big grill outside and they have the swinging gig for the
door. and you go in and health rating and people would freak out, just because the way it looks but they have
good food so that’s the one I would typically go to.
Can you explain the process of How BBQ is cooked?
Okay so.....traditional BBQ or?? because there are 2 different ways.
Describe your method?
Oh so let’s go traditional. You go find a hog, you kill the hog and then you clean it and cut it and stuff and then
when you dig a pit, we start a huge fire and we let it go down to ash and the we will cover it little with dirt and rap
the pig up and soak it down, put it in the ground and bury it. so after a day or 2 days, we pull it out, it is com-
pletely cooked and we put it up on the table, full pig and we start tearing it apart because it is still soft and then
we start pulling it into hunks of meat, then we start chopping it or peeling it, whichever way we do it, put in into
big pots where everybody can just come and grab it. we will have our slaw being made, which we tends to make
a vinegar based slaw, so we’ll have that processed up, huge bags of beans, so we have that. Corn on the cob we
usually do it on the grill, with the smoker that is going, so that it will keep and hot and we this huge tray and we
have a hamburger patty and buns to put it on. then we have the toppings. We usually have a mild medium and
hot and then we have a sweet sauce so you can mix and pour all those things and then the mayonnaise and then
a couple of different things and some extras. We will have some fruit salads and then we will also have dessert. If
we go make to time my grandmother was alive . We would have sweet potatoes. we would have banana pudding,
we would have had a couple of different pies, apple peach, whatever. and that was a huge spread. and everybody
would just cut peal and eat.
Is there whole family?
yes whole family!
You mentioned the sauces, is that something you buy from store or you make it?
we do buy some, we also have a recipe from an older man from Memphis that used to cook , so we will make our
own sweet and spicy. but other ones are typically bought
Where do you buy your sauce from?
Do you think sauces are really important for BBQ?
Yes. I think sauce can also dictate a restaurant. Certain restaurants have their own characteristics of sauce and how
they cook it within the meat and how they season and things like that and that can be the characteristics.
Is there any particular tool that you use while cooking BBQ?
A Gun, a knife, going back to the process, A shovel. When we pull it out its generally with a big knife and prongs,
so we just cut chunks of meat and then we will take another knife and then just start slicing it up and then chop-
ping it and putting it in the over. Then we mix some sauce but if we have rubbed it down before it hits a ground
then it already has been seasoned or we can season it when it comes out of the ground, either way.
Do you use a temperature gauge to check the meat?
no, I just do it the traditional way.
Do you have your own recipe for the rub?
It depends on you is making the rub. we do have certain ones that we do like to use and then other people want
to try something different, so we will try out something different. a lot of times it tends to have things that we
don’t know is in it. because whoever is around may pour something in it that should not be added.
Do you follow any traditional family recipes?
Oh not really
Can you describe your fondest memory involving BBQ?
Probably being a kid and being able to sit around with adults hearing the stories when we are putting the pig in
and know that we are sitting and talking and people are checking and stuff like that. I think it’s your first passage
of being around adult and being around food. that would be my fondest memory
Did you help out in actually cooking it?
well, Yes and No, they would let us play but we were not a really big part. We got to rub things on it and help
wrap it so yes we were part of it, but they dint need it.
What would your favorite day off look like? activities, location, company, weather?
If I had a day off, I would load up my jeep, go and find a place in wilderness that has running water build a fire,
throw a hammock up and sit there.
Is there anything you would bring with you?
Hammock, tools, food, but depending on how long I was going to be there, If I was packing quickly I would have
it with me. If not I’m going to hunt. Go kill something and eat it..
If you had to describe BBQ in three words what would it be?
Quantity... because we have tons of it.
Do you cook BBQ in Savannah in Particular?
I will, But I don’t kill the pig here, But yes I buy the meat.
Where do you get your meat?
Grocery store and then there is this butcher, where you can get some meat.
Do you have a smoker in Savannah?
No I don’t, I just take the meat, cut it out and put it in the oven. that not traditional BBQ!
Does that give you the same taste?
yup... good enough
How long do you cook it in the oven? and at what temperature?
Depending on how raw or how cold it is you can just dice it up flip it and put some sauce on it, so an hour or so
and if it’s a large portion of meat, then ill cook it over night and you can do a turkey, do whatever you want to
and then steam it . At 10 a clock put your oven at 500 degree. once it heats 500 degree you put your meat in it
and then depending on how big it is you estimate the time it will take, say an hour or two. cut it off. Don’t open it
back up, what it does it steams because you put liquid and you have surrounded it with aluminum foil. It’s almost
like smoking it and keeps it really moist. And you can mix like, vegetables , I have added beer, I have also added
whisky, duck pepper.
When you go to a restaurant, whom do you generally go with?
How did you start having BBQ?
Just as kids, It was given to us
You mentioned you have been in a lot of places in savannah, how would you rate your experience with respect to BBQ in savannah ?
It’s not bad, but I come from only 2 hours away from Memphis. And they have incredible BBQ. So, I would prob-
ably give it a overall 7. But I’m also not picky.
So you don’t particularly have a favorite BBQ restaurant in savannah?
It depends on whom I’m with. Because I’m not very picky I let the opposite person chose.
What is the craziest thing you have ever BBQed?
I did a pony!. We BBQed a pony. It wasn’t planned. it just happened
How did you manage to kill a pony?
It was an accident, but really not an accident. so we were needing something to eat. It was a big family. So we
were thinking of pig, goat, something to BBQ. We BBQ goat also. Goat to good to me! we could not find one. So
we saw pony for sale, we drove up to him. I asked...hey you still have the pony
he said... yeahhh
I said... can we buy it from you
he said... yeah
he said... u will come back after sometime
we were like nah, we will take him now... shot him... put him in the trunk ... take him back.. clean him. BBQ him.
Was it good?
yeah, it wasn’t bad.
What all the different meat that you have cooked?
Okay...traditional, chicken, beef, pork
Pony, rattlesnake, ground hog, squirrel, rabbit, goat, wild boar, turtle, fish of all sorts...
Turtle is illegal?
Not all of them, not in Alabama.
You cannot serve in restaurant!
No you cant... frog, turkey. That’s I think all of it in Alabama.
Have you killed all of those animal?
Ya most of them, that is definitely part of the BBQ process, getting the meat.
We have a lot of hunters that want to eat deer because they killed it, but they can’t taste the game taste. do you know what game taste is?
No, Okay a wild animal when you shoot it , has a stronger taste in it, because it still has the testosterone, because
he has never been marinated, so we call this wild taste game taste. The hunters can’t handle it because they are
used to pampered meat. So she marinates it for a day or two. she can cook deer meat in anything, in spaghetti,
she does little deer nugget things, so pulled deer meat. Deer meat does not have fat, so you can’t really make
Patty’s and all.
It will be nice to BBQ it though, because it is a tougher meat?
Ya its like goat. It depends on what you call BBQ, because it varies from different ethnic background you come
from. The Idea is basically the same! Well some people call BBQing, Grilling and grilling BBQing, it is just a cul-
tural different. be careful when you ask people.
A lot of people perceive BBQ as grilling, what do you think about it?
they understand BBQ as a plate and they still say they are BBQing this weekend and its generally grilling. and
some BBQ say they are grilling when its actually BBQing. while true BBQ is slow. that why I like cooking mine
slow. BBQ should have smoky flavor to it. some people use only some type of wood to BBQ. It is no different from
whisky. whisky barrel depend on how long you burn them.
Which wood do you generally use when you BBQ?
I generally use hardwood, because we own so much land, so we just cut some hardwood and use that.
What is the native in Alabama?
you got oak, you got sycamore, pines, a lot of nut bearing trees. poplars, magnolias, that the major ones. we have
Which wood do you think is the best for BBQing?
I don’t know, me personally, I can’t tell the difference as much because I don’t have a sophisticated palate. we like
the hardwood because it burns slower. soft wood burns too fast.
Could you tell us something about yourself?
I come from a farm in Alabama, we farmed 2000 acre of cotton growing up. So I got a background in agriculture.,
construction, landscape architect environmental designer, industrial designer. Worked on projects with construc-
tion with NASA to garden in china. Went to auburn for school.
What would your perfect BBQ restaurant look like?
Like again, a shack with a big huge oven, where they are putting fire in and you can see it. I love seeing them
cook. Old picnic tables, wooden floor, which squeaks when u walk across it. an older gentlemen there, who tell
you stories. small community place, i don’t like commercial places. Actually get to talk to him or her and how
she grew up and it’s a family run thing. and that’s a perfect BBQ place. BBQ is BBQ at the end of the day... its jus
food!. but it’s the story behind the BBQ and the people that cook it that make it so interesting. that’s the differ-
ence between BBQ and most of the other dishes because it takes time to cook it. it’s not just a hamburger where
you flip it and turn over and send it out but it’s about the people who spend the time cooking it, bringing in old
recipes. that is what makes a BBQ place BBQ
SCOPE: The Culture of BBQ in Savannah, GA.
INTERVIEW DATE: 11.3.14
INTERVIEWEE Kim Till Powell
LOCATION: Gulfstream Center for Design, Savannah, GA
How often do you eat BBQ and where
At least once a week and yeah at least once a week when in Birmingham either in mu house or someone in my
family that cooks who also lives in town. Or if I’m gonna go out to a restaurant I will usually go to SAW, although
I will try any new BBQ restaurant that opens in Birmingham but Saw is the usual place that I go to, they have the
best BBQ, other than in my house, in town.
So what is your favorite BBQ dish and what will you usually order and why might you order that?
Ribs, well I really like brisket too but it’s really difficult to find good brisket, so you end up eating up a lot of bad
brisket to get your way through good brisket. Ill try it pretty much everywhere I go, if you want really good brisket
though you have to go to Texas I think in my opinion that is the place to get consistently good brisket. But my
favorite order BBQ wise is ribs and that’s when I go to Saws obviously is for the ribs. And most BBQ places have a
sampler, plates and options and someone in the table will order that and I will of course try that and the different
kinds of meat but I’m gonna order ribs. I’m gonna have a slab of ribs.
So is that something that had always been this way or as you pursued BBQ it kind of became your favorite?
So I guess growing up in Alabama I always ate BBQ I don’t really remember liking in one way or another… When
I started practicing law it seemed like a lot of the recruiting events had a lot of BBQ an I wasn’t excited about it, I
got bored of it, I went through a phase when I was vegetarian and obviously not eating BBQ then, but then it was
sort of the only option and started eating it again at these recruiting events at the law firm. Really I guess when I
met my husband he’s such a great cook and chef and he loved to smoke meat it was either we were goig to the
lake for the weekend, and then the accumulation of smokers in the house… I didn´t really understand why we had
to get another smoker every time , but what he cooked in it was always really really good. In terms of all of a sud-
den falling in love with BBQ a couple of years ago I had BBQ with one of my uncles in North Carolina, he’s a big
BBQ person, Broadus Brannon, and I fell in love with the food on my plate, I mean it was the best I had tasted in a
really long time and I always wanted to have that experience with BBQ from that point on. And that’s when I really
started instead of someone else deciding where we where gonna have BBQ and me tagging along, it was me
kind of pushing to go certain places, “let’s go try this place out”…. And then I had a great aunt that lived in Texas
I visited her at least once a quarter and of course being In Texas your in the middle of bbq country all the time,
and brisket country and sausage country…and smoking sausages so I fell in love with all types of bbq and sort of
developed an appreciation for the diff regionality aspects of bbq
Do you recall the last time you had bbq?
On Saturday I cooked it for u guys but couldn’t bring it! Birmingham at my house cooked it myself, having one
of my former colleges and his wife, and I always keep a Journal whenever we are having people over that we are
entertaining; what they like, what they don’t like, their allergies… Just when they leave I’ll right down whatever
we cooked, partially because I don’t wanna serve the same thing twice to my guests but also to make sure to be
aware of allergies or “I hate garlic” type of things, or “chocolate is the best thing in the world” I’ll right it down so
then next time I’ll serve chocolate. And the last time we had them over it was probably… it had to be over a year
ago and we typically have them over at the lake but we had never BBQ for them , for whatever reason we were
talking about it and they said “Well you never cook bbq for us” and by that time I was only still getting my feet
wet in cooking, but I wrote that down and that was when we decided that we were having them over for dinner
and then I was thinking “I need to squeeze in a trip to SAW’s so that I can share it with you guys”, but then I was
like “no, I’ll cook it!”. So I literally decided it by noon… My husband already had a full menu planned, making
tuna in this fabulous setting with Asoka, all Mediterranean style, and I was like “you know what? We’re gonna
have ribs as an appetizer!” hahaha so at noon I got into my car, drove to Piggly Wiggly, it’s only 10 minutes from
my house so this will get into the process part of it. So that answers who I was with. My other “who I was with”
was my daughter and her favorite friend, she’s has lots of favorite friend but this one in particular, Eleanor, she’s a
foodie if you wanna put it that way, she is 9 years old like my daughter and she loves my ribs, so.. it was kinda like I
know they will eat my ribs and so it was like a done deal, you know it was noon, I had to calculate the time to cook
and prepare, let the meat rest, get done early cuz we were going to be watching the Alborg game.
Right, so right to the next question about process, what do you go through to prepare, cook and serve BBQ, what do you cook, what tools do
you use, sauces or rubs??
Go to the store, I look for a certain size I look for when was it cut, you can tell if the meat gets expired within the
next 2 weeks you know its not fresh and you can ask for them to get it out of the back for you, so you know it’s
fresh… it always take me a while to get through what’s there. After I look at dates, then I look at sized because
I cook multiple slabs at the same time and I want them to cook uniformly you can do certain adjustments as to
where to stack it in the smoker, Closer to the heat box if it’s a little wider you can position it in some areas, uhm
I still want them to be them all in the same weight range. Even after I have trimmed the fat off I will weigh them
again in order to see where I’m going to put them in the smoker… It’s the more scientific part of it at that point
that take time, but you know I wash the meat, if you’re cooking ribs you remove the membrane off, I sent you a
picture of that… Obviosuly I try to get out a lot of the fat off, a lot of people in BBQ say that you should leave it
on in order to get the flavor and the moisture in it, but I pull off all of the fat if it’s at the top, if it’s at the bottom
it doesn’t matter ‘cause I cook mine bones down so it will drip off anyway. Then I put olive oil on it and I do use a
very small bit of a dry rub uhm I usually make my own you know paprika, pepper, coffee grinds kind of rub what-
ever I feel to putting on it, or garlic… just a mix of different things, different spices. Here is some really good ones
that you can buy though,
One of the bbq places now sell their rub so if there is a particular flavor that you love you can now buy that. There
is one particular flavor, it’s called sweet Melissa’s that I like to use sometimes when I don’t have the time to make
my own and the after that I let the meat rest and come to room temperature and since I was cooking for dinner it
was OK, ‘cause you know, sometimes I have to get up at the middle of the night to get the meat out of the refrig-
erator to let it rest so that it is the right temperature when you put it in the smoker. Sometimes the smoker has the
right heat but if your meat is too cold then it takes up the heat up too fast and you wanna kind of like get a lot of
the smoke on the front end, you want it to build up.
So as far as toosl and equipment we have a fast cook shack smoker (picture of the information) it looks like a
refrigerator when you go past it, it has the fire box in the back, and its pellet fed form the side and there is a drip
pan in the bottom but when you open it up it has two things, opening it up is the hardest part, you kind of to like..
it’s a jeavy door and it’s a bulky process but once you open it it looks like a refrigerator, it has shelves and you can
adjust the height of the racks. So I put my meat in I set the timer and set it for a certain temperature but I sort
of jerry rig the smoker where it will have a very hot temperature with a lot of smoke at the beginning, and then
I open the door after about 30 minutes to let the smoke kind of air out, ‘cause then you’ve got like a good seal
on it and the I let it smoke and then I will re smoke it about half way through the cooking process. So I don’t just
leave it but have to manually adjust it to get what I’m looking for which is what I actually got on Saturday, which
was the perfect smoke ring on ribs! I mean, in my opinion they were the best ribs I’ve ever smoked, my guests
which had never had my ribs before said they were the best ribs they’d had and never intended to eat them
anywhere else than my house and just it was on and on and on about how great they were. James of course (the
husband) did the typical “Huh… not bad, these are decent” haha It’s just our little competition… Anyway that is I
guess… I’m trying to think tools I may use…
Not really, paper towel maybe to pull the membrane off, that’s not a trick but it helps ‘cause it’s so slippery and if
you leave some of it it is terrible.
You said before about how you trim the fat of and how some people say you are supposed to leave it for the flavor, was that something you
did on your own or was ot something that you picked up from someone else?
Broadus, Broadus gave me that advice
Uhm, alright.. so back to Savannah, do you know any BBQ places in Savannah?
Just the ones that you guys have told me about, and if I wasn’t so preoccupied with my restaurant project I would
have been to them by now.
So you haven’t been to any of them?
No not yet.
Blowing Smoke but I wouldn’t know if that is a BBQ place perse
Have you been there?
Yeah, yeah, I’ve been there
What was your impression?
I mean I got tacos, so I wasn’t there for the BBQ, hahah so we don’t have to talk about that one. Within the next
two weeks I will go to a BBQ place in Savannah though and give you comments on that.
Uhm ok so here is a broad question, what does bbq mean to you?
Uhm interesting… I guess the first word is obviously family, I mean obviously is a food but its not such an easy
food to cook well or to master, so I think that s part of the reason I really like it. It’s kind of like golf, you can’t
perfect it, you know you’re gonna be out there until you’re 90 and you’re never gonna have the perfect game,
but you know you are going to spend your whole life trying. BBQ for me is similar to the times I’ve tried to play
golf, ts just gonna be this exercise in this kind of just, it’s physics, it’s physics of food, its not like a lot of things you
an cook and actually have some sense of stability on what your outcome is going to be. So I think it’s kind of an
art, but you know… Family, and then, a challenge, an inner competition with me. Like now I’ve gotten the perfect
smoke ring one thing I left out is the whole sauce question, I always put a couple od diff sauces out with my meat,
but my theory is “are people going to actually use them?” and I typically after I get the meat out I let the meat
rest, wrap it in tin foil and then I wrap it in newspaper and put it in a cooler and set it aside for at least 30 min or
an hour and just let it rest, and it continues to sort of cook but it also traps the moisture in and there’s something
about the newspaper that is an old trick which I think it works. But when I take it out to slice it, or pull it apart
depending on what BBQ it is I always give a little to the people to sort of “try this, taste a little bite” and you
know right then if they are going to use sauce with it because typically the reaction is “it’s the best thing I’ve ever
had” and its typically followed with a “I wouldn’t even put sauce on it” or “it doesn’t even need the sauce” that’s
like the natural next comment so that is my purpose now. People see me opening the meat, they have it fresh out
before it’s even in a serving platter and that’s the reaction, so I have the sauce sitting out but nobody uses it.
Do you buy the sauces or make them yourself?
I’ve made them before but we have very good sauces available in the south, I feel like always as long as I’m not
flying, if I’m driving, I will pick up any local BBQ sauce on the road. I will go into the small grocery store chain and
buy whatever is labeled in terms of a BBQ sauce, although I end up putting them on the eggs haha you know…
but Birmingham we have really great sauces, you know we have Dreamland BBQ which is an old family owned
Could you tell us about your fondest memory on BBQ?
It’s that same moment where I talked about you about Broadus before, where I had these ribs a couple of years
ago and that was kind of my turning point when I fell in love with BBQ, again something that I had interacted with
a lot my whole life, and I ate it a lot, but it was not until that one taste of ribs that I absolutely fell in love with it.
My second fondest memory, was with Broadus again, and his wife, we went to Texas to spend a week, and it was
the “Death by BBW” what we called it because we went to 4 BBQ places in a day, basically did it 4 days took a
day off and did like another day or 2 and the waved the white flag… But it was really fun! We had charted out like
these places and we would literally drive all day through Austin or the perimeter, through the hill country, and it
was literally just hitting all the best BBQ places and doing tasting, so that was really, really, really fun! A fun family
So this is completely not BBQ related, and I know this probably sounds great right now… If you could describe your perfect day off, what
would it look like (activities, locations, company, etc)?
My favorite day off would be with my daughter just doing anything or nothing at all, you know, just with her.
Before I had a child, my answer sure would have been completely different, buts its funny once you have a child
it kind of changes everything, so I guess the perfect day off would just be with her doing whatever she wanted to
Now that you mention your daughter, what does she do while you’re cooking your BBQ? Does she get involved in any way?
The eating part of it she loves, the cooking got so much in terms of helping, she will be in and out of the kitchen
and she’ll ask what I’m doing but..
Is she old enough to help?
Yeah, she is, she has been involved in the kitchen for a very long time but for her showing any interest in BBQ
She is interested in the way that she knows when I’m cooking even if she doesn’t sees, she smells the smoke and
so she’ll be all excited about the smell and all but not involved in the cooking process though.
Ok, uhm so if you could describe BBQ in 3 words…
Interesting… just 3… like I wanna through sentences out…