interviews

Interview: Chad Decker of Hard Eight BBQ

General Manager: Hard Eight BBQ, opened 2003 Age: 40 Smoker: Wood-fired cookers and gas-fired rotisseries Wood: Mesquite Dale Earnhardt Jr. held a charity event at the Hard Eight BBQ location in Roanoke last week. I arrived early before the press conference and sat down with Chad Decker who opened the first Hard Eight BBQ with his wife and in-laws ten years ago. Since then it has grown into a small chain of three restaurants. It’s pretty incredible that ten…

Interview: Tyler Frazer of Tyler’s Barbeque

Pitmaster: Tyler’s Barbeque, opened 2010 Age: 45 Smoker: Wood-fired Cabinet Smoker Wood: Mesquite Tyler Frazer took a converted Long John Silvers and turned it into a unique Panhandle barbecue joint. The menu itself isn’t so unique. You’ll find all the barbecue standards, but it’s his methods that buck the standard way of doing things up north. Yesterday’s meat is never sold. He cooks what he thinks he can sell in a day, and no more. If he runs out…

Interview: Meat Baby Crew

This isn’t so much a pitmaster interview as it is a discussion with a few Europeans who hope to learn the ways of Texas barbecue. Brian Patton is from Dublin, but he operates restaurants in Vienna, Austria. He is in Texas on a barbecue pilgrimage which is doubling as a research mission for his upcoming venture. By his side on this trip are Petr Matusny and Christian Petz. They are chefs in Austria who will…

Interview: Emilio Soliz of Two Bros. BBQ Market

Pitmaster: Two Bros. BBQ Market, opened 2009 Age: 29 Smoker: Wood-fired Offset Steel Smoker Wood: Oak The creation of Two Bros. BBQ Market doesn’t follow the usual narrative of a Texas barbecue joint. There was no backyard cook or barbecue competitor that had decided to open up a barbecue joint. Jason Dady was a San Antonio chef and restaurateur more familiar with serving up tasting menus and Italian food than barbecue, but he wanted a true Texas restaurant. When…

Interview: Jim McLennan of Hashknife on the Chisholm

Owner/Pitmaster: Hashknife on the Chisholm, opened 2006 Age: 51 Smoker: Gas-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Oak and pecan Jim McLennan and his wife have run a barbecue joint at the southwest corner of highways 281 and 284 for over a decade. Shortly after he bought the place in 2005 he also bought the house next door. He’s lived in this area of the state most of his life and graduated from Weatherford High School. In all his time living in…

Interview: Israel “Pody” Campos of Pody’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Pody’s BBQ, opened 2011 Age: 38 Smoker: Various indirect heat steel pits Wood: Post Oak, Cherry, Pecan, and Mesquite A few weeks back someone tweeted to me that they’d spotted Israel “Pody” Campos in line at Pecan Lodge in Dallas. That’s a long way from his home in Pecos. I tried to get him to stick around so I could go interview him in person, but he had eaten and was gone before I could get there. Instead…