John Lewis

John Lewis Sr. and John Lewis Jr. Photo from John Lewis's Facebook page

John Lewis Jr.’s BBQ Roots

Rummaging through your family genealogy can be dicey. The history could be upsetting (just ask Ben Affleck), but you also might be able to confirm some royal bloodlines. And for Austin’s John Lewis Jr., what he and his father discovered was even more rewarding than any monarch. The man who built Austin’s La Barbecue into a nationally respected joint might be a self-taught pitmaster, but he has barbecue in his blood. Lewis Jr. is still part of the La Barbecue clan,…

New Head Pitmaster at La Barbecue

It’s not breaking news that la Barbecue pitmaster John Lewis is working to open a new barbecue joint in Charleston, South Carolina. He announced his intentions late last year, and Lewis Barbecue will open later this year. That means John Lewis will be spending a lot of time in Charleston. He has an apartment there, and flies back and forth on a regular basis. “Once we open [in Charleston] I’ll pretty much be there full-time” he…

The ingredients of Samuel Jones's whole hog barbecue. Lean pork from the ham or loin mixed with juicy pork from the belly and the shoulder, crispy skin, salt, black pepper, apple cider vinegar, and Texas Pete hot sauce (made in North Carolina).

I’d Tell You, But…

Last week, seasoned pitmasters and aspiring barbecue cooks descended on tiny Murphysboro, Illinois, for the fourth annual Whole Hog Extravaganza and Brisket Bonanza. The students had paid good money to learn the secrets of the professionals, and the teachers weren’t shy about sharing their recipes for porchetta, whole hog, beef ribs, brisket, and even hot guts. Gasp! Pitmasters sharing knowledge “proprietary” or “secret family recipes”? Say it ain’t so! Opening the vault on these guarded concoctions might seem as taboo…

Beef Rib J Mueller

You May Love Beef Short Ribs, But Pitmasters Don’t

Customers love beef ribs. When a pitmaster plunks down a big, thick fatty rib on a plate, cameras are whipped out to document this ultimate carnivore trophy that is the succulent symbol of the Texas obsession with beef. While beef backs ribs have been found in joints from Fort Worth to El Paso for decades, beef short ribs have historically been served at very few barbecue joints in Texas. The short rib’s history as a…

Interview: John Lewis of La Barbecue

Owner/Pitmaster: La Barbecue; Opened 2012 Age: 35 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Post Oak I talked to John Lewis over the phone while he was making preparations at La Barbecue to open up the following day. John Lewis became the pitmaster at La Barbecue on November, 4 2012. That’s a few days after John Mueller was forced out of the same barbecue trailer by the business’s owner and John Mueller’s sister, LeAnn Mueller. John…

TM_LABarbecuePit_2013

La Barbecue

In this case, “La” is not a definite article referring to the “Cuisine Texicana” this relatively new joint says it serves; it’s an abbreviation referring to the first name of the co-owner LeAnn Mueller, granddaughter of the founder of Taylor’s famous Louie Mueller Barbecue (disclosure: LeAnn is a contributing photographer at Texas Monthly). Housed in a little trailer with a few picnic tables under old pecan and live oak trees, this eatery opened in 2011…