Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Gary Williams of Gary’s BBQ

  Former Owner: Gary’s Barbeque Age: 75 When he was twenty-six, Gary Williams said doctors told him he was bipolar and diagnosed him with depression and a chemical imbalance. “That’s a load, but I made it. I had a great doctor,” he told me while we sat across from one another at Tyler’s Barbeque in Amarillo. He’s a regular there, but until 2002, he had his own barbecue joint in town. After overcoming his medical…

Interview: Roland Lindsey of Bodacious Bar-B-Q

Founder: Bodacious Bar-B-Q; Opened 1968 Age: 76 Smoker: Wood-fired Offset Smoker Wood: Oak Roland Lindsey went from running the pits for his dad in Dallas when he was fifteen, to running a chain of barbecue joints in (mostly) East Texas. He officially started Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Longview in 1968, and it has grown significantly since then. Since it was first opened, the Mobberly location in Longview was where Roland did his best work. He hasn’t been in the best health…

Interview: Edward Davila of Davila’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Davila’s BBQ; Opened 1959 Age: 65 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Mesquite Edward Davila has just hit retirement age, but he can’t imagine life without working at the barbecue joint. He’s been doing it since he was a boy, and now he’s teaching his son to follow in his footsteps. After our interview, Davila wanted to show off his custom built pits. They have a unique design where the racks are stacked like a giant Lazy Susan for…

Interview: George Mahathay of Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ; Opened 1986 (estimated) Age: 68 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Red Oak and Hickory It seems that everybody who drives by Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ in Jasper honks and waves. George “Billy” Mahathay is a popular man, almost as popular as his barbecue. He told me jokingly that he can’t do anything bad around town because everybody knows him. They all know him because he has ran this barbecue business for thirty years. They…

Interview: Robert Patillo of Patillo’s Bar-B-Q

Owner: Patillo’s Bar-B-Q; Opened 1912 Age: 67 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Hickory, red oak, white oak, and pecan Patillo’s Bar-B-Q has been operating in Beaumont since 1912. It has moved around a lot in the past 100 years, but it’s always been in the family. That makes it the oldest family owned barbecue establishment in Texas, and also the oldest black owned barbecue joint in the state. The only place you’ll find brisket here is within the…

Interview: LeAnn Mueller of La Barbecue

Owner: La Barbecue; Opened 2012 Age: 42 LeAnn Mueller hails from a famous barbecue family, but all she ever wanted was to be a professional photographer. Now she has the photography career and one of the state’s most highly regarded barbecue joints, which is ironic for someone who wanted nothing to do with barbecue just a few years ago. Mueller grew up in Taylor, Texas with a famous pitmaster for a father, and two future pitmasters…

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