Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Dwight Harvey of Off The Bone Barbeque

Owner/Pitmaster: Off the Bone Barbeque; Opened 2009 Age: 70 Smoker: Wood-Fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Pecan and Mesquite Off the Bone was once a tiny joint in a neighborhood without much of an identity. Since it opened seven years ago, The Cedars has grown into a destination, and the barbecue joint has grown with it. Not willing to rest easy in retirement, owner and pitmaster Dwight Harvey started the joint after a long career in finance. He sat with me…

Interview: Laura Loomis of Two Bros. BBQ

Pitmaster: Two Bros. BBQ; Opened 2009 Age: 28 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Oak A few years ago, Laura Loomis didn’t think much of Texas barbecue. Neither cooking nor eating it was a big deal in her family, and she admits to never really having a favorite joint growing up. She doesn’t remember eating good barbecue until working for Jason and Jake Dady in San Antonio as a twenty-five year old. She tried their Two Bros. BBQ joint…

Interview: Karl Kuby Sr. of Kuby’s Sausage House

Owner: Kuby’s Sausage House; Opened 1961 Age: 84 If you’ve had breakfast at Kuby’s Sausage House in Dallas’s Snider Plaza, chances are you’ve seen Karl Kuby Sr. canvassing the dining room looking for kids so he can pass out his trove of gummy bears. At eighty-four he’s still there often, or down at the family’s meat processing facility on the other side of town. He opened Kuby’s in 1961, and now it’s a Dallas landmark, but it…

Interview: Tim Mikeska of Mikeska Brands

Owner: Mikeska Brands Texas Bar-B-Q; Founded 2008 Age: 56 Smoker: Brick Smokehouse Wood: Oak wood with oak and hickory sawdust Tim Mikeska has had enough with running restaurants. He’s traded it in for the wholesale sausage business, and now his family’s Czech sausage recipe can be enjoyed in Texas, New York, Connecticut, and all over Chicago. He comes from a long line of butchers and barbecue men. If you’ve traveled the highways of Texas, then you’ve probably seen at…

Interview: Johan Fritzell of Holy Smoke BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Holy Smoke BBQ; Opened 2014 Age: 43 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Oak Swedes love to grill, but low-and-slow, Texas-style barbecue is a concept so foreign that only one restaurant in the country serves it. They opened in 2014 when Johan Fritzell turned his passion into a rural barbecue stop in a field in southwestern Sweden, one and a half hours north of Copenhagen. Holy Smoke BBQ is a restaurant as well as a smoker dealer, serving as a…

Interview: John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse

Owner/Pitmaster: 4 Rivers Smokehouse; Opened 2009 Age: 49 Smoker: Gas-fired rotisserie Wood: Hickory Sitting with a 2003 copy of the Texas Monthly Top 50, John Rivers occupied a table inside Rusty Taco in Dallas waiting for me. His travel schedule didn’t allow for a barbecue lunch, so bacon, eggs, cheese, and avocado on a tortilla became the best option. Austin was his afternoon destination where he would meet his team from 4 Rivers Smokehouse based in Winter Park, Florida. They…

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