Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Tomas Limon II of Quality Packers

Owner/Pitmaster: Quality Packers; Opened 1974 (restaurant in 2014) Age: 75 Smoker: Wood-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Oak, Hickory, and Mesquite Tomas Castillo Limon II is a native of San Antonio, but moved to Victoria in the sixties to get closer to his favorite fishing holes, and to get away from a bad lifestyle he’d created for himself in the big city. His experience as a meat cutter would serve him well. In Victoria, he founded Quality Packers, a meat packing…

Interview: Lolis Elie

Author: Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country Age: 52 In the mid-nineties, Lolis Elie and photographer Frank Stewart travelled around the country eating barbecue for the book Smokestack Lightning. There aren’t many books as influential to my writing about barbecue than Smokestack. Sharing barbecue with Frank Stewart in Lockhart was a treat a couple years back, and last month I had the opportunity to do the same with Lolis Elie when I was…

Interview: Kevin Bludso of Bludso’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Bludso’s BBQ; Opened 2008 Age: 50 Smoker: Steel offset smoker and gas-fired rotisserie smoker Wood: Red oak, pecan, apple, and mesquite charcoal Kevin Bludso’s roots are in Compton, but he earned his barbecue chops in Corsicana, Texas. His great aunt, Willie Mae Fields, ran a semi-legal barbecue business at a local gas station on the weekends. Every summer, Kevin’s parents shipped him out of Compton to Corsicana to stay in the country with his aunt, and he gradually…

Interview: Evan LeRoy of Freedmen’s Bar

Pitmaster: Freedmen’s Bar; Opened 2012 Age: 29 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Post Oak Even at his young age, Evan LeRoy doesn’t want for confidence. He once told viewers of American Grilled, a cooking show he was competing on, that “I can cook anything to perfection on any grill.” It was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but he’s certainly good with a smoker. As a formally trained chef, there’s also plenty more he can join a kitchen that just barbecue. LeRoy…

How the East Was Won

TMBBQ welcomes guest writer Megan Giller who takes us to Japan for some Texas barbecue.  Craig White is a Texan. He’s a pitmaster and an expert in smoked meats, and like many of his breed he can be secretive. White designed his own proprietary smoker that he won’t even let you photograph. But here’s the catch: He’s in Tokyo. After cutting his teeth at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor and City Market in Luling, White,…

Interview: Bennie Washington of Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Q

Owner/Pitmaster: Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Q; Opened 2000 Age: 64 Smoker: Wood-fired Offset Smoker Wood: Mesquite, Post Oak, and Pecan Bennie Washington’s business may only be fifteen years old, but his barbecue experience goes back four decades. As a delivery truck driver for Pepsi, barbecue was a hobby, then a short-lived foray as a professional in the nineties. His full time job didn’t allow for a barbecue side-business then, so he waited a few years, then quit in 2000. Now it’s all…

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