(212) 661-6640 info@bigapplebbq.org

Search Results for: pitmasters

Posted in , on 7 June 2016, by , 0 Comments

Dallas, TX

Menu: Smoked Beef Brisket w/ Cucumber Pickles

Tim Hutchins, Owner/Pitmaster Hutchins BBQ
A Texas native, Tim Hutchins is the proud Owner and Pitmaster of Hutchins BBQ, a traditional Texas BBQ joint with locations in both McKinney and Frisco. The restaurant was founded in 1978 by Tim’s father, Roy Hutchins, and has since developed a reputation as the best, quality BBQ in the area. Since taking over the reigns of the restaurant, Tim has continued the family’s commitment to creating incredible barbecue. His hard work and dedication have lead to Hutchins BBQ being named one of the Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas by Texas Monthly.
Hutchins puts as much value into customer service as he does brisket and ribs, providing for the diverse clientele that visit the restaurant every day. Not only does Tim Hutchins provide the community with top-notch barbeque, but he also gives back regularly with quarterly charity events that support the Wounded Warrior Project and the Samaritan Inn. In his time off from building a legacy Tim enjoys traveling the world, most recently returning from a trip down to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup


Dustin Blackwell, Co-Owner/General Manager Hutchins BBQ

Dustin Blackwell is Texas born and raised, displaying his roots as the Co-Owner and General Manager of Hutchins BBQ, a progressively traditional Texas BBQ joint. After being hired as an assistant at Hutchins in 2007, it only took Blackwell nine months to reach his General Manager position. The success hasn’t stopped since. Under his direction business has grown by 350% in less than six years, and Hutchins went from an unknown barbecue joint on the Texas scene to being voted as one of the Best 50 BBQ Joints in Texas by Texas Monthly.
Along with owning Hutchins BBQ, Blackwell is also a master meat cutter and pit master. He was selected as one of the Top 50 Pitmasters in Texas by Texas Monthly, and operates under the business philosophy that one must work hard to be successful. This propelled him through college at Southern Methodist University, graduating with a double major in History and Psychology. Blackwell also utilizes communication skills within his position, putting value in his customers and their opinions. His way of leadership has helped Hutchins grow from a $1.2 million dollar company to a $5 million in only 6 years, exceeding the 10-year expectation of that amount.
Off duty, Blackwell enjoys traveling the world and collecting souvenirs. He is a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, and pays for 20 children every year to go to the circus through Shriners Hospital. With the success found in his first business venture, Blackwell hopes to grow Hutchins BBQ into the best barbecue joint in America, with a team that places customers and quality first and foremost.
Continue Reading...

Posted in , on 3 June 2016, by , 0 Comments

Ayden, NC

Menu: Whole Hog w/ Coleslaw

Sam Jones is the third generation to cook traditional whole hog barbecue at Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. Sam’s family opened Skylight Inn in 1947 with a very humble beginning. Since then, they have always stayed true to what has made them what they are – a standard-bearer for wood-cooked eastern North Carolina-style barbecue.

Skylight Inn (Sam, included) is considered among the greats when it comes to legendary barbecue joints and Pitmasters in countless publications and TV shows. In 2012, Sam was named one of the “Top Ten Pitmasters in the South” by Southern Living. The greatest honor was bestowed upon Skylight Inn in 2003 when the Jones family was honored with a James Beard award for “America’s Classics.”

In the fall of 2015, Sam Jones BBQ opened in Winterville, NC. It’s a new restaurant that boasts all the hallmarks of the incredible traditional BBQ for which the family is known. From the smell of the smokehouse to the freshness of the food, Sam Jones BBQ is looking to the future of eastern NC BBQ.

Sam is passionate about barbecue, and what it means to his family. More importantly, Sam is known for being an honest, hard-working guy who loves people, loves his hometown, and loves what he does.

Continue Reading...

Posted in , on 3 June 2016, by , 0 Comments

Nashville, TN

Menu: Smoked Alabama White Wings w/ Sesame Coleslaw

One of the country’s most renowned pitmasters, Pat Martin is self-taught, having learned the art and craft of West Tennessee-style smoke and meat in the tiny town of Henderson, before making Nashville his home. West Tennessee’s legendary whole-hog Bar-B-Que tradition is the cornerstone of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. The restaurants have been featured on the Food Network’s popular broadcast, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” and in publications such as Bon Appetit, Esquire, Conde Nast Traveler and Men’s Journal. Pat is a member of the Fatback Collective, a group of restaurateurs, chefs, farmers and writers advocating the benefits of heritage breed livestock. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Martha Ann, and their three children, Wyatt, Daisy and Walker.

Continue Reading...

Posted in , on 3 June 2016, by , 0 Comments

South Haven, MS

Menu: Baby Back Ribs w/ Baked Beans

John David Wheeler, Head Cook for the Natural Born Grillers BBQ Team, is one of the most award-winning BBQ cooks in the world.  Among his many accomplishments, he’s a two-time winner of the overall Cooking Team of the Year award, winner of the World Grand Championship at Memphis in May, winner of three separate World Championships and over 75 Grand Championships, not ot mention winning literally thousands of other awards.

As co-Pitmaster of the Memphis Barbecue Company, John and his co-partner Melissa Cookston own and operate one of the hottest BBQ restaurants in the country. Melissa is a wildly celebrated Pitmaster and multiple World Championship winner. Together, the two of them establish Memphis Barbecue Company as the only restaurant in the world to feature two World Championship Pitmasters at the helm.

Continue Reading...

Posted in , on 3 June 2016, by , 0 Comments

Raleigh, NC

Menu: Whole Hog or BBQ Smoked Turkey

Legendary Pitmaster Ed Mitchell returns to the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party with his son Ryan. An incredibly talented father-son duo, Ed and Ryan look forward to serving their family legacy of the most tasteful whole hog BBQ in the south to guests at the 14th Annual event. Longtime fans will remember Ed as one of the original pitmasters who helped establish the Big Apple Block Party as one of the most exciting food and music festivals in the country. A native of Wilson, North Carolina, ‘ known for its eastern style vinegar based BBQ,’ Ed’ s passion began in early childhood where his family would celebrate– whether holiday, special occasion, or end the tobacco season – with amazing barbecue. A grandson of small farmers, Ed learned at an early age how to prepare whole hogs using a 150-year old method taught to him by his father and grandfather. Although education, work-life, and military experiences took him away from family traditions for a period, they came flooding back immediately upon returning to Wilson and the family business. Ed’ s commitment to authentic whole hog barbecue and farm-raised animals places him in a unique position within the culinary community, and one of the nation’ s most sought-after Pitmasters. Ed is featured prominently in episode of Michael Pollan’ s award-winning documentary, “COOKED,” which considers the cross-cultural tradition of barbecue and cooking with fire. Barbecue as togetherness is the passion and philosophy that drives the Ed Mitchell brand. Visit Ed Mitchell’ s Que @ the Creek in Raleigh, NC, to enjoy his family’ s tradition and legacy serving the best barbeque in the Carolinas

Continue Reading...

Posted in , on 3 June 2016, by , 0 Comments

Decatur, AL

Menu: Pulled Pork Shoulder w/ Spicy Mustard Coleslaw

Chris Lilly emerged on the barbecue scene in 1992 when he began working for the world famous Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurant in Decatur, Ala. Recognized by The Wall Street Journal as having the best pork barbecue in the country and named the “Best Barbecue Restaurant in Alabama” by the Birmingham News.  Lilly is now vice president, executive chef, and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.

Lilly is also head chef of the award-winning Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Competition Cooking Team, and the winner of 15 World BBQ Championships in several barbecue categories and a record four Memphis in May Grand Championships (2000, 2003, 2011, and 2014), as well as winning the American Royal International Invitational Cook-Off. Lilly was able to display his culinary talents abroad by capturing the Grand Championship at the 2003 International Jamaican Jerk Barbeque Cook-off.  In 2012, he won the title of “King of the Smokers” at a national barbecue Invitational.

Widely recognized as one of the top pitmasters in his field, Lilly has been a guest chef for fourteen years running at the Food Network’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, has served twice as guest chef at the James Beard Foundation and the American Institute of Wine and Food, was a presenter at the Low-Country and Caribbean Food Conference at Johnson and Wales University, and recognized as Celebrated Chef by the National Pork Board.  In 2011, Lilly was an instructor for Pork Summit at Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.

In addition to his work at the restaurant and on the competition barbecue circuit, Lilly also lends his expertise to Kingsford® Charcoal as a national spokesperson, to many organizations such as the National Pork Board and KC Masterpiece for recipe creation, and to companies like Nissan, NASCAR and Ritz Carlton for private event catering.

Lilly has appeared on “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “The Today Show” thirteen times, “The Martha Stewart Show,” “ESPN College Football Live,” and “ESPN Game Day,” as well as numerous Food Network programs, including “Cooking Live with Sara Moulton,” “BBQ with Bobby Flay,” and “Paula’s Home Cooking” and has made countless special appearances on local stations nationwide.  In 2011, he competed on the Food Network competition reality show “Best in Smoke” and also appeared as an expert judge on the 2011 CBS show “Ultimate Barbecue Showdown.”  In addition to the television appearances, his cooking has been featured inSouthern Living, People, Food and Wine, Food Network Magazine, The New York Times, Men’s Health, The Wall Street Journal, and Maxim Magazine.

In 2009, Lilly authored a compilation of recipes, stories, and expert advice on outdoor cooking:BIG BOB GIBSON’S BBQ BOOK, Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint.  The National Barbecue Association awarded it “Book of the Year” and it is now in its 7th printing.  In 2014, Lilly’s second book and much anticipated follow-up is titled: FIRE & SMOKE, A Pitmaster’s Secrets.

In an effort to educate America on the fundamentals of championship barbecue, Chris was the co-creator of “The All-Star BBQ Showdown” for The Outdoor Life Network (OLN).  This 9 episode BBQ television series aired in 2005.  Along with creating the show, Chris has also assumed the Executive Producer role and hosted the show.  In 2006, Chris continued with his television career as co-creator and executive producer of BBQ Championship Series on Versus Network.

Continue Reading...

Posted in , on 3 June 2016, by , 0 Comments

Slow & low, that is the tempo…


The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is rooted in a deep appreciation for the tradition,

culture, and low-and- slow mantra of real-pit barbecue. The 2017 festival features a star-studded roster of Chefs and Pitmasters; we’re talking the absolute best-of- the-best from around the country. Watch as the entire Flatiron neighborhood is transformed virtually overnight into a barbecue-lover’s paradise, with the biggest names in the game setting up shop on Madison Avenue and smoking up that skyline.

To celebrate our 15th Anniversary, we’ll feature 15 of the nation’s most lauded Pitmasters. The culinary talent unveil is set to debut at the end of February, check back soon! In the meantime, take a peak at last year’s lineup to whet your appetite.

2016 Highlights

The Sweetest Thing

In addition to exceptional barbecue and beer, guests enjoyed irresistible desserts from Original Fried Pie Shop out of Texas, and NYC’s very own Milk Bar.

Crack Pie Slice
Compost Cookie
Corn-Flake Marshmallow Cookie
Confetti Cookie

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’

The 2016 line-up welcomed 14 of the nation’s most celebrated Pitmasters. Here’s a look at what they brought to the table last year.

Beef Short Rib w/ Pickles, Onions
Pulled Pork Shoulder w/ Spicy Mustard Coleslaw
Smoked Alabama White Wings w/ Sesame Coleslaw
St Louis Ribs w/ Coleslaw
St Louis Spareribs w/ BBQ Beans
Baby Back Ribs w/ Baked Beans
Baby Back Ribs & Tangy Pit Beans
West Tennessee Style Whole Hog w/ Coleslaw
Beef Brisket w/ Sausage & Coleslaw
Smoked Beef Brisket w/ Cucumber Pickles
Continue Reading...


Posted in , on 16 April 2016, by , 0 Comments

The 4-1-1

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is the nation’s largest culinary and music festival dedicated to the best in barbecue. The free, weekend-long event is set in the heart of New York City. Each year, hundreds of thousands of guests flock to the festival to enjoy mouthwatering ’cue from the world’s most celebrated Chefs and Pitmasters.

14th Annual Event
Madison Square Park, NYC
June 11 – 12, 2016
11 AM – 6 PM

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party takes place in and around Madison Square Park.

– Madison Avenue, from East 23rd Street through East 27th Street
– East 26th Street, from 5th Avenue through Park Avenue

No, the event is free and open to all! Incredible barbecue is available for $10/plate, and guests can purchase beer, wine, and more throughout the event.

FastPass tickets are available for all those interested in beating the lines. The FastPass guarantees access to the express lanes for the bearer and one guest throughout the weekend, in addition to $100 towards food, wine, beer, and merchandise. Please visit http://bigapplebbq.org/tickets/ to score one today.

The Madison Square Park Conservancy is proud to present the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. 2016 marks the first year the Madison Square Park Conservancy is both the owner and beneficiary of the festival. To date, the event has raised over $1Million for the Madison Square Park Conservancy, in support of the park’s beautiful grounds, world-class programming, cultural events, and beyond.

Yes. The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party welcomes guests of ALL ages. Please note, “Big Wig” ticket holders who wish to bring a child into the VIP tent must remain together at all times.

No, the entire event is free – music included! Listen to great live music all weekend long at the stage in Madison Square Park.

Yes, please do! The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is a celebration of the country’s best barbecue – which is perfectly suited for its Madison Square Park home. All guests are welcome to bring their own picnic essentials, though lawn space is limited to a first-come, first-served basis.

Absolutely! The event takes place in, and around, Madison Square Park – which is open to all guests throughout the weekend.

Yes! The festival takes place in pet-friendly Madison Square Park – which even features an enclosed dog park for all our furry friends.

For general inquiries, please contact info@bigapplebbq.org

Please direct any media inquiries to our communications team at press@bigapplebbq.org, and we’ll be in touch soon.

We’re always seeking out great partners, please direct any inquiries to ashah@bigapplebbq.org and a member of our sponsorship team will be sure to respond.

It sure is! We’re thrilled to offer a limited number of FastPasses for the 2016 event, providing access to expedited service for barbecue, beer, and wine throughout the weekend.

We’ve re-imagined the FastPass experience so it’s faster and better for all. In addition to limiting the number sold, we’re also creating separate, more efficient FastPass-dedicated lanes to ensure the 2016 event is wonderful for all guests (with a FastPass, or without), as well as the pit crews out there smoking great eats for us all, all weekend long.


The FastPass package includes:
– FastPass and one (1) Companion Pass
– Exclusive access to express lanes throughout the weekend for bearer and one guest
– $100 towards food, beverage, and merchandise

BIG WIG VIP PASS – $275 (per person)

The Big Wig VIP package includes:

– FastPass and one (1) Companion Pass
– Private VIP Tent: shade-filled respite, open bar, and bites
– Access to a Private VIP Area for Pass Holder and one (1) companion: shade-filled respite, open bar, and bites
– Exclusive access to express lanes throughout the event for bearer and one guest
– $100 towards food, beverage, and merchandise

The “Big Wig” VIP Pass is offered by day, with one passing providing access for the Pass Holder and one companion. A “Big Wig” VIP Pass provides access to the VIP area on either Saturday or Sunday, depending on the day selected. A separate “Big Wig” VIP Pass is needed for each day.

All purchases are final. Regretfully, no exchanges or refunds are possible. Please contact our ticketing partners at Front Gate for additional questions regarding your order: support@frontgatetickets.com or 888.512.SHOW (7469).

We regret to hear you’re unable to join us at the 2016 event. Unfortunately, all sales are final. For additional information, please review purchase terms: http://www.frontgatetickets.com/support/terms/

Only 2016 FastPass and “Big Wig” VIP Passes are accepted at the 2016 event. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. Remaining balances from previous years are not honored at this year’s event, nor will they be in the future. We encourage you to make the most of your 2016 FastPass with friends & family this year!

Absolutely. When making your purchase, please indicate the alternate shipping address.

“Big Wig” VIP Passes will ship 2-4 weeks in advance of the event.

If you selected priority delivery, but have yet to receive your Pass, please contact our ticketing partner, Front Gate Tickets via email support@frontgatetickets.com or by phone 888.512.SHOW (7469).

Admission to the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is free and open to the public. Guests to not need a ticket to attend.

Some of the best barbecue in the world is available throughout the event for $10/plate. Guests purchase ’cue directly from Pitmasters at their individual rigs (see site map for layout).

Beer, wine, desserts, and more are available for purchase throughout the event. Cash, credit cards, and Apple pay accepted throughout the event.

The festival is rooted in a deep appreciation for the culinary traditions of barbecue. The culinary talent features the absolute best Chefs and Pitmasters from around the country. Each Pitmaster takes great pride in the craft of real-pit barbecue – cooking the meat low and slow to achieve the desired texture and flavor.

Incredibly, they’re out here smoking 24 hours a day throughout the weekend. Each dish averages between 12 – 16 hours in the smoker before it arrives in your hands. If you think about it, the time you may spend in line isn’t all that bad considering the patience and passion they’re putting in to make sure it’s exceptional!

FastPass and “Big Wig” VIP Tickets are non-refundable. However, 2016 ticket holders are welcome to transfer their passes to friends or loved ones who are 21+ years old.

No! The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is a rain or shine event.

Continue Reading...

Posted in , on 2 April 2015, by , 0 Comments

Once upon a time...

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is the nation’s largest culinary and music festival dedicated to the best in barbecue. Celebrating its 15th Anniversary, this beloved weekend-long event welcomes over 130,000 guests annually from across the city, and the country.

Enjoy mouthwatering ’cue from the world's most celebrated Chefs and Pitmasters. Throw in the beer, wine, and great live music – all set against this stunning Manhattan backdrop – and you’ll find yourself at the ultimate summer street party.

Founded in 2002 by Danny Meyer, Chef Kenny Callaghan, and Mark Maynard-Parisi, the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party exists to bring America’s most destination-worthy barbecue to the heart of New York City. What began as a small, single-street soirée 15 years back, is now a blockbuster annual affair that stretches across a handful of city blocks in, and around, Madison Square Park. For one weekend each June, the city is truly transformed. Madison Avenue shuts down as a parade of BBQ rigs descend on the Flatiron – overalls and Stetson hats, galore – where the top Pit Crews set up camp to smoke their award-winning whole hogs, ribs, brisket, and the like through the night, and serve happy hordes of barbecue lovers all day.

And it’s all for a good cause…

In addition to all the wonderfully transporting sites, smells, tastes, and sounds, guests can feel good about the event’s charitable mission, with proceeds benefiting the Madison Square Park Conservancy. Since inception, over $1 Million has been donated to Madison Square Park Conservancy to support its beautiful gardens, amenities, and world-class art and civic programming.

There’s nothing else quite like the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party; if you know, you know.

Continue Reading...