Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Kirby Hyden of Kirby’s Barbeque

Owner/Pitmaster: Kirby’s Barbeque; opened 1991 (2007 in current location) Age: 59 Smoker: Offset steel smokers Wood: Oak Until Anna Nicole Smith came along, the most famous area resident of Limestone County was Cynthia Ann Parker. She was abducted from Fort Parker at a young age, and her story inspired the John Wayne movie The Searchers. A decade after the 1836 massacre that led to her abduction, the Hydens settled in Limestone County. Kirby Hyden is a third generation barbecue…

Interview: Joe Davidson of Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue

Owner/Pitmaster: Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue; Opened 2011 Age: 52 Smoker: Gas-Fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Pecan Joe Davidson has been involved in all aspects of the barbecue world. He became a successful entrepreneur when his smoker company got off the ground in the eighties. He hit his stride in barbecue competitions in the early nineties, and won the Jack in 1993. Then he and his competition nemesis Jeff Stehney became business partners in the restaurant business with Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue in…

Interview: Adrian Handsborough of Virgie’s Bar-B-Que

Owner/Pitmaster: Virgie’s Bar-B-Que; Opened 2005 Age: 49 Smoker: Wood-Fired Offset Smoker Wood: Post Oak On Virgie’s website they have a brief description of their restaurant, but what has stuck with me was their promise of a “barbecure.” It’s a pun so obvious I’m curious why it isn’t used more often. Their ribs are sure to be the cure for plenty of ailments, and the brisket’s not bad either. I love that sausage too, but Handsborough wasn’t about to tell me…

Interview: Tim Rattray of The Granary

Owner/Pitmaster/Chef: The Granary; Opened 2012 Age: 31 Smoker: Wood-Fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Live Oak  There isn’t another barbecue joint in Texas with as many menus to deal with as The Granary. They have a lunch menu with traditional barbecue items and a rotating daily lunch special that includes Cajun pulled pork and brisket pastrami. Their dinner menu is a completely different collection of composed dishes that changes monthly. Then there are the special dinners. Just this month chef Tim…

Interview: Nicole Davenport

Pitmaster: BBQ Pitmasters (2010), Sugar & Smoke (2012), Chopped (2012) Age: 43 I visited Sugar & Smoke restaurant in Fredericksburg in early 2012. That’s the first time I was introduced to Nicole Davenport. The menu was long, with only a few items of true barbecue. When I asked for a sample of everything smoked, I think she was excited just to find someone interested enough in her barbecue to want a tray full. I wrote about it in…

Interview: Buzzie Hughes of Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q

Owner/Pitmaster: Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q, opened 1993 (current location since 1997) Age: 54 Smoker: Wood-fired smoker Wood: Live Oak I had just started a phone conversation with Harold “Buzzie” Hughes. “Let her rip potato chip” was his way of getting our interview kicked off. Buzzie is a man of steadfast opinions on smoked meats. “Cheap barbecue’s not good, and good barbecue’s not cheap.” And on the experience required to cook brisket: “Barbecue is like wine. You don’t pull a brisket before its…

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