BBQ State of Mind
BBQ State of Mind — Smoked meat goodness and all the delicious sides — from the thriving barbecue scene in Houston, Texas and hereabouts. Houston Chronicle BBQ columnist J.C. Reid, food editor Greg Morago and restaurant critic Alison Cook dig in.
info_outline Ep63: Go west, barbecue fans! Craft ‘cue thrives west of Houston 02/03/2020
Ep63: Go west, barbecue fans! Craft ‘cue thrives west of Houston The Chronicle's barbecue columnist says there’s much to love about the new frontier of smoked meat that he’s calling, “the capital of creative ‘cue.” In just two years the craft barbecue movement has found fertile ground in Katy and Richmond.
info_outline Ep62: Going to Kansas City? 01/10/2020
Ep62: Going to Kansas City? With apologies to Fats Domino, they've got a crazy way of BBQ'ing there. Chris and Greg chat with Tyler Harp, who is Kansas City’s premier (and perhaps only professional) practitioner of Central Texas-style barbecue. He made pilgrimages to places like Franklin and Snow’s and taught himself how to smoke brisket.
info_outline Ep61: A new amusement park for beer and barbecue nerds 12/12/2019
Ep61: A new amusement park for beer and barbecue nerds Chris and Alison sit down with Buffalo Bayou Brewery owner Rassul Zarinfar and chef Arash Kharat to discuss how they infuse the flavors of Texas barbecue, and specifically Houston barbecue, into their beer and food menus.
info_outline Ep60: Eddie O’s BBQ: a merger of Texas craft barbecue and Mexican food cultures 11/02/2019
Ep60: Eddie O’s BBQ: a merger of Texas craft barbecue and Mexican food cultures Pitmaster Eddie Ortiz details his story of an energy sector worker whose weekend barbecue passions turned into a regular gig. Founded in 2017, Eddie O’s is now a staple for craft barbecue aficionados and among the top-tier barbecue practitioners in Houston’s growing craft barbecue movement. He’s known as much for his brisket, ribs and sausage as he is for his barbacoa tacos (on tortillas handmade by his grandmother) served with a side of his famous “magic beans.”
info_outline Ep59: El Topo: From barbacoa tacos to brick and mortar 10/15/2019
Ep59: El Topo: From barbacoa tacos to brick and mortar Chef/owner of the El Topo food truck, Tony Luhrman, and Culinary Director Mike Serva chat with Chris and Greg in about how the duo moved into the Houston food truck scene having met while working at P.F. Chang's in San Antonio. The conversation turns to The Butcher's Ball, a charity event benefitting Urban Harvest. (October 20th, y'all.) Tony was the Golden Cleaver winner last year serving El Topo's signature barbacoa taco. The pair are opening a restaurant of the same name in December.
info_outline Ep58: Sam Jones has hog fat coursing through his veins 10/08/2019
Ep58: Sam Jones has hog fat coursing through his veins Third-generation North Carolina barbecue pitmaster Sam Jones preaches the whole hog gospel; his family’s Skylight Inn is one of America’s great heritage barbecue institutions. Jones was among the pitmasters and chefs invited to cook at the 2019 Southern Smoke food festival, his second time appearing at Chris Shepherd’s culinary extravaganza featuring smoked, wood-fired and Southern-infused foods, where he joined Chris and Greg for a chat.
info_outline Ep57: “Every food story in Houston is an immigrant story” 10/02/2019
Ep57: “Every food story in Houston is an immigrant story” The proliferation of food halls in Houston is being framed as a new phenomenon. But, as food writer David Leftwich told Chris and Greg, innovative culinary enterprises — flavored by immigrant cultures —have marked downtown Houston since the Allen brothers first pitched their tent on the bayou. Leftwich, who is president of the advisory board for Foodways Texas, also talks about how dining halls, butchers and barbecue have tended to become synonymous with emerging urban marketplaces.
info_outline Ep56: Russell and Misty Roegels dig into whole-hog barbecue 09/08/2019
Ep56: Russell and Misty Roegels dig into whole-hog barbecue The owners of Roegels Barbecue recently went on a pilgrimage in the American South seeking knowledge about cooking whole hogs. They share their favorite spots from the trip with Chris and Alison – and their plan to offer whole-hog specials at their Houston barbecue joint.
info_outline Ep55: How Galveston wound up with one of Houston’s favorite craft barbecue pitmasters 08/27/2019
Ep55: How Galveston wound up with one of Houston’s favorite craft barbecue pitmasters Galveston island may not be known as a craft barbecue hotbed. But the opening of Buck’s Barbeque Co. – a Central Texas-style barbecue joint from a pitmaster who has built a considerable fan base in Houston -- may change that view.
info_outline Ep54: The success story behind H-E-B's True Texas BBQ 06/18/2019
Ep54: The success story behind H-E-B's True Texas BBQ H-E-B’s director of culinary development, Randy Evans, and director of restaurants, Kristin Irvin, discuss how the beloved Texas supermarket chain developed its in-store barbecue business with Chris and Greg.
info_outline Ep53: Houston's Fainmous BBQ is about to get more famous 05/30/2019
Ep53: Houston's Fainmous BBQ is about to get more famous Jamie and Karen Fain, owners of beloved Meyerland barbecue joint Fainmous, talk with Chris and Greg about their Tennessee-style smoked meats (a rarity in Texas!) and how a slow-and-steady business plan has led them to a new project in Sawyer Yards opening this fall.
info_outline Ep52: How a Houston pathologist became a precision knife craftsman 04/25/2019
Ep52: How a Houston pathologist became a precision knife craftsman Dr. Stephen Pustilnik’s desire for better autopsy knives led to a side career as a knifemaker whose customers include top chefs and Texas pitmasters — and members of his own medical community.
info_outline Ep49: The experts weigh in on barbecue and wine 03/05/2019
Ep49: The experts weigh in on barbecue and wine Pitmasters Jim Buchanan of Buck's Barbeque Co., Arash Kharat of Beaver's and Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ discuss pairing barbecue and wine with Alison, Chris and Chronicle wine columnist Dale Robertson.
info_outline Ep48: How Daddy Duncan’s in Katy "quickly" became a barbecue powerhouse 02/15/2019
Ep48: How Daddy Duncan’s in Katy "quickly" became a barbecue powerhouse With solid restaurant experience and a hard-earned degree from University of Houston’s Hilton College, Randy Duncan decided to go all in on his own business. He got his start tent catering, feeding wrestling fans in Katy and now he’s about to build a big new barbecue joint. He shares his story with Chris, Alison and Greg.
info_outline Ep47: Brett’s Barbecue Shop has Katy all fired up 02/06/2019
Ep47: Brett’s Barbecue Shop has Katy all fired up Chris, Alison and Greg chat with owner and pit boss Brett Jackson about his newfound barbecue stardom, and his path that includes a rare apprenticeship at the famed Louie Mueller Barbecue.
info_outline Ep46: Joey Victorian's path to opening a barbecue joint 12/27/2018
Ep46: Joey Victorian's path to opening a barbecue joint The competition route is how a good number of amateur barbecue enthusiasts wind up smoking meat for a living. Joey Victorian is among those who made that transition. He shares his story with Chris, Alison and Greg.
info_outline Ep45: How Blood Bros. BBQ grew to be a major player in the Houston barbecue scene 12/17/2018
Ep45: How Blood Bros. BBQ grew to be a major player in the Houston barbecue scene Brothers Robin and Terry Wong, with partner Quy Hoang, grew a following by smoking meat at a karaoke bar. Now they’re opening their own restaurant. In the new Bellaire digs, the trio discusses their path with Chris and Greg.
info_outline Ep44: At 37, Luling City Market barbecue still going strong 11/30/2018
Ep44: At 37, Luling City Market barbecue still going strong Chris, Alison and Greg are back, and ventured one (big) block away from the office to interview David and Kurt Craig at one of the longest-running smoked meat operations in Houston. Part saloon and part barbecue joint, Luling City Market was birthed during a 1980's oil boom and continues to thrive thanks to a loyal clientele, an overall interest in Texas barbecue, and an adherence to a simple menu based on the barbecue trinity and key sides.
info_outline THIRDS: The conversation with Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue continues. (Part 2 of 2, first posted Aug. 8, 2017) — Chris, Alison and Greg will be back next week. 11/21/2018
THIRDS: The conversation with Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue continues. (Part 2 of 2, first posted Aug. 8, 2017) — Chris, Alison and Greg will be back next week. Owner-pitmaster Wayne Mueller continues his conversation with Chris, Alison and Greg, delving into the history of Louie Mueller Barbecue and Texas barbecue at large; brisket technology; his time in Houston, including what he learned from working with Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale; and his plans to open a Louie Mueller Barbecue outpost outside of Taylor.
info_outline ANOTHER SECOND HELPING: The hosts are still away so here's another episode from the archive — Ep11: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue (Part 1 of 2) 11/17/2018
ANOTHER SECOND HELPING: The hosts are still away so here's another episode from the archive — Ep11: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue (Part 1 of 2) Originally posted Aug. 4, 2017 — Texas barbecue royalty and third-generation owner-pitmaster Wayne Mueller joins Chris, Alison and Greg in the studio. A fount of knowledge about Texas barbecue and its history, Wayne talks about improvements he’s making at Louie Mueller, his siblings, why he doesn’t like the term pitmaster, and the weight of taking over the “cathedral of smoke.”
info_outline SECOND HELPING: While hosts vacation, we’re serving up this popular BBQ State of Mind episode— Breakfast at Killen's, from June 2017 11/07/2018
SECOND HELPING: While hosts vacation, we’re serving up this popular BBQ State of Mind episode— Breakfast at Killen's, from June 2017 The Chronicle crew hit the road last year to chat with chef/pitmaster Ronnie Killen. From the dining room at his acclaimed Killen's Barbecue in Pearland, he shares his thoughts about Texas Monthly's best barbecue joints list (hint: he wasn't thrilled about not making the top 10), cooking perfect brisket and possible expansion plans. We hope you enjoy this replay. Chris, Alison and Greg will be back together in a couple weeks.
info_outline Ep43: Tin Roof BBQ’s low and slow rise 11/02/2018
Ep43: Tin Roof BBQ’s low and slow rise For nearly 18 years, has been a stronghold for barbecue in north Houston. Owner/pitmaster Ronnie Webber, a 31-year Houston Police Department veteran, and his protégé son, Brek, discuss risk and longevity with Alison, Chris and Greg.
info_outline Ep42: How Willow’s Texas BBQ quickly became a Houston barbecue cult favorite 10/19/2018
Ep42: How Willow’s Texas BBQ quickly became a Houston barbecue cult favorite Willow Villarreal had many friends in both his professional (working for Fox Sports) and personal life (as a promoter and booker of punk and heavy metal music). But he found a new community – just as caring, equally passionate – when he decided to switch careers to pursue barbecue. The proof is the people’s choice Golden Cleaver award he’s snared twice in a row at the Butcher’s Ball, the festival that showcases local farmers and ranchers who uphold ethical and sustainable practices and the chefs and pitmasters who use those products. Villarreal’s got a new barbecue food truck – Willow’s Texas BBQ -- and is making his home at Shady Acres Saloon, 1115 W. 19th, a rambling bar and backyard party space that fits well with his casual barbecue menu he executes with his fiancée, Jasmine Barela. Houston Chronicle BBQ State of Mind hosts (barbecue columnist J.C. “Chris” Reid, restaurant critic Alison Cook and food editor Greg Morago) talk to Villarreal about his quick, determined rise in the Houston barbecue community.
info_outline Ep40: Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn’s smoked meat life — and why he’s visiting Houston so often 10/03/2018
Ep40: Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn’s smoked meat life — and why he’s visiting Houston so often Vaughn, one of the most prominent barbecue voices in America, discusses the problem with plant-based “meat,” Houston’s Top 100 Restaurants list and other Texas barbecue matters with Chris, Greg and Alison.
info_outline Ep38: Diving into the 2018 Texas barbecue festival circuit 09/20/2018
Ep38: Diving into the 2018 Texas barbecue festival circuit It’s the most wonderful time of the year: barbecue festival season! Chris (who organizes a festival himself)and Greg discuss upcoming events with Will and Nichole Buckman of CorkScrew BBQ, who promise a surprise.
info_outline Ep37: Eaker Barbecue food truck hits the road in Houston 08/16/2018
Ep37: Eaker Barbecue food truck hits the road in Houston Lance and Boo Eaker worked in IT consulting and fashion design respectively, but now they’re trying to make a go of it in the barbecue world. They join Chris and Greg in the studio to discuss food-truck life and their mesquite-smoked dreams.