Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Steve Olson of Hidden Canyon Farm

Owner: Hidden Canyon Farm in Lyons, New York Author: Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications (IMPS) If you’ve ever purchased a cut of meat then you’ve been impacted by IMPS. IMPS, or the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications are the guidelines for most of the beef cuts you purchase in the U.S. whether you’re familiar with them or not. NAMP or the North American Beef Processors Association has taken the text-only IMPS guide and made it more user…

Interview: Thomas Abramowicz of The Beast

Owner: The Beast: Maison Deviandes Fumees, opened 2014 Age: 31 Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserie smoker (once it’s delivered) Wood: Oak I was in line for the bathroom at Hill Country BBQ Market in New York when a man who recognized me approached. He wanted to know if I could find a Texas pitmaster for him to apprentice with. This man wanted to open a Texas-style barbecue joint in Paris…France. That was almost a year ago. Since then…

Interview: John Raven PhB

Title: Commissioner of Barbecue, PhB Age: 76 “Allow me to introduce myself. I am John Raven. I am the individual who has done more for barbecue than anyone else.” Those were the first three sentences in a letter I received about a year ago. It was the first letter I received after being named the barbecue editor at Texas Monthly. I then went searching for more about Mr. Raven when I found his barbecue autobiography. “I…

Interview: J. D. Bost of Jasper’s Bar-B-Q

Pitmaster: Jasper’s Bar-B-Q, opened 1915 (or 1918) Age: 52 Smoker: Gas-fired rotisserie smoker Wood: Pecan and Oak About six weeks ago I sat down with J. D. Bost at Jasper’s Bar-B-Q in Waco. He’s the general manager of this nearly century-old barbecue restaurant on Elm Street started by an Italian immigrant. Since the DiMaria family sold the business it has gone through multiple hands. Now a trio of local investors own it, and J. D. Bost is…

Interview: Matt Hamilton of Local Yocal Market

Owner: Local Yocal Farm to Market in McKinney, opened 2010 Age: 37 Matt Hamilton grew up on a ranch in southern Oklahoma, but just a few years back he was using his college degree in the corporate world. It wasn’t until 2009 that he decided to go full bore into the ranching life once again with the Genesis Beef company. After a couple years selling beef at farmers markets, it was time for a bigger move. That’s when Local…

Interview: Ernestine Edmond of Mama E’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Mama E’s BBQ & Home Cooking, opened 2006 Age: 61 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Pecan, Oak, Pear Ernestine Edmond has cooked most of her life. She learned about killing and processing chickens from her mother, and her mother-in-law taught her about cleaning a fresh hog. She’s never looked at chitterlings the same way again. She is one of few female pitmasters in Texas, but she’s not just the cook. Ernestine owns the business, the building and the…

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