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SFA Podcast: On the Origins of Texas BBQ

This Just In:

[View the story ” Barbecue Crossroads: Notes & Recipes from a Southern Odyssey” on Storify]



From Juneteenth at Mama Sugar’sGastronaut blog at

The food is one reason why the Juneteenth BBQ at Mama Sugar’s little horse ranch just south of Pearland on Trammel-Fresno Road is one my favorite parties of the year. This is where I first met photographer O Rufus Lovett while we were both working on […]

Book Release Update

[View the story “Barbecue Crossroads: Now on Sale!” on Storify]

Texas Eats Recipe Video: Sweet Potato Cobbler

Mama Sugar’s Sweet Potato Cobbler from Keeley Steenson on Vimeo.

While she was working on the Mama Sugar film for Foodways Texas, filmmaker Keeley Steenson put together this short “recipe video” about Mama Sugar’s legendary sweet potato cobbler. (The recipe appears in my book Texas Eats.)

A preview of the Foodways […]

TXChefs4: Haute Heritage: Tim Byres

Chicken Scratch tenders

It’s hard to figure out where Texas cooking is headed right now. There are a lot of different trends going on and they have little to do with each other. In fact, sometimes it seems like the chefs in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin arrived here from different planets. In this series, I’ll check out food from some hot Texas chefs and look for clues about the big picture.

At his Dallas restaurant, Smoke, Tim Byres weds Texas barbecue with fine dining. The kitchen at Smoke is dominated by the enormous A.N. Bewley wood-burning pit and there is always something cooking inside it. The dinner menu features:

“Pulled All Natural Whole Hog, NC Style with Blue Cheese Slaw; Texas BBQ Coffee Cured Beef Brisket with Bread/Butter Pickles & Mustard Seed Potato Salad; Dry Rubbed Pork Spare Ribs with Mac n Cheese & Pickled Green Beans; and Smoked Berkshire Pork Chop with Apricot Preserve, Potato Dumplings, Wilted Greens & Unfiltered Green Olive Oil.

On the side, there’s housemade pickles, and an assortment of sophisticated barbecue sauces.

An appetizer of three kinds of housemade smoked sausage includes a stunning rabbit sausage. By adding blue cheese to the cole slaw and making wilted greens with expensive olive oil, Byres transforms heritage recipes into fine dining with a single wave of the magic whisk.

Tim Byres at Chicken Scratch

read more TXChefs4: Haute Heritage: Tim Byres »

Community ‘Cue in the Houston Press

Check out this week’s feature story in the Houston Press on our latest research project:

“Barbecue is one of the oldest artisan food traditions of the Americas. For the past few years, I have been crisscrossing the Old South documenting Southern barbecue culture. When I set out, I expected to trace American barbecue […]

About ZenBBQ

Texas Eats has a new sister website named ZenBBQ. It got started after photographer O. Rufus Lovett and I started working on an upcoming book about Southern barbecue. Friends and associates pointed out that while the Arkansas, Alabama, Carolina and Tennessee stories I was posting were interesting, they didn’t make a lot of sense […]

The Acorn and the Tree

Despite my advice to the contrary, my daughter Katie has been pursuing food writing as a career track lately. As much as I wish she would find something better to do for a living, I am very proud of her efforts. Here’s a recent blog post from her regular gig at Whisked Foodie:

A Happy Birthday Pig Pickin’ Party
by Katie Walsh | Jan 6, 2012
Pig Pickin

I was at my dad’s house in Houston last weekend to celebrate his birthday when he told me to come outside and bring my camera. I was intrigued.

He lifted the lid of his smoker to reveal two big ol’ hunks of beautifully barbecued meat, a whole pork shoulder, and a ham, which he’d had cooking low and slow for 26 hours.

It came off the heat and onto the cutting board, where he pulled back the skin and separated the fat from the crispy edges from the tender, fatty midlands, all of which got pulled apart and thrown into a big bowl. We all gathered round and pitched in for a regular pig pickin’ party.
read more The Acorn and the Tree »

Her Sweet Hot Bark

The box of chipotle-almond chocolate bark I got from Expressions Fine Chocolate on Wilcrest may have been the best appreciated Christmas gift this year. I got it for my wife, but I am “helping” her eat it.

Judging by the front room at Expressions Fine Chocolate, it looks like the place […]