Pitmaster Interviews

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…

Interview: Joe Riscky of Riscky’s Barbeque

Pitmaster: Riscky’s Barbeque; opened 1927 Age: 38 Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserie smoker Wood: Post oak I sat down for lunch at the original location of Riscky’s Barbeque on Azle in Fort Worth. It sits just north of the Stockyards in a building from the fifties. Joe Riscky, great grandson to and named after the founder Joe Riscky, gave me a tour and we talked while we walked. When I asked Joe to describe the barbecue here, he said “we’re a…

Interview: Kim Dunn of Pit Stop Bar-B-Q

Owner/Pitmaster: Pit Stop Bar-B-Q; opened 2006 (2010 in current location) Age: 58 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Pecan Kim Dunn learned to cook in her native Korea before she left in 1978. She then got her training in Louisiana cuisine by working at Popeye’s before shifting over to Texas barbecue as an owner of Colter’s BBQ locations within military bases. She retired from the corporate food world and decided to open a small barbecue joint that featured homemade…

Pitmaster Interview: Vencil Mares of Taylor Cafe

Owner/Pitmaster: Taylor Cafe; opened 1948 Age: 90 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Post Oak Vencil Mares (pronounced like a group of female horses, not the planet) normally sits at the end of the bar just inside the side door of Taylor Cafe. For this interview we went into the only place in the restaurant with air conditioning – Vencil’s office. Even inside the office the train whistle from the tracks running beside the restaurant was deafening, and they happened about…

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