Nick Pencis and his Baby Back Ribs
While pork barbecue is traditionally associated with Tennessee and the Carolinas, it's also a key part of Texas barbecue, especially in the northeast part of the state. While spare ribs are considered a key part of Texas barbecue, Pencis prefers baby backs.
"I think it's a better rib. More meat, less fat, less cartilage...they call them spare ribs for a reason."
Stanley's Baby Back Ribs
Cutting the Baby Backs
Serving the Ribs
Wayne Mueller and his Brisket
Wayne Mueller is the third generation pitmaster at Louie Mueller barbecue, named for and founded by his grandfather in 1949. After swearing off barbecue as a career path, he took over Louie Mueller shortly before his father's death in 2008.
Louie Mueller's Brisket
Louie Mueller's Beef Rib
Louie Mueller's Beef Rib
Cut up, tender, and ready to go.
Pork punks beef.
Meat meat meat
From left to right: beef rib, brisket, and baby back ribs.
Kent and Barrett Black
Kent Black is the third generation pitmaster at Black's Barbecue in Lockhart. Founded in 1932 by Edgar Black, Sr., Black's claims to be the oldest continuously family-owned barbecue restaurant in Texas. Kent's son, Barrett, is the heir presumptive to his great-grandfather's legacy.
ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer is a longtime fan of Black's. Upon her request, Kent and Barrett are actually catering for ABC News today.
Kent and Barrett brought original and jalapeño cheddar sausages. The original sausages' composition is fairly simple: natural pork casing, brisket filling, minimal binder, all made in small 100 lb batches.
Kent Cuts the Smoked Turkey Breast
Black's Smoked Turkey Breast
The turkey is smoked with post oak wood on 30-foot-long brick pits, built by Kent's father in the 1940s upon his return from World War II.
German Mashed Potatoes
Hill Country provided the sides, including these German mashed potatoes. The secret ingredient is bacon.
Mac and Cheese
Quite possibly the quintessential barbecue side, also provided by Hill Country.
Unlimited Shiner and Lone Star were available throughout the event.
Everything in all its Glory
LeighAnn Bakunas and Daniel Vaughn
Aside from one byline in the North Carolina Literary Review from 1997, Daniel Vaughn is the world's only known Barbecue Editor. He's served in that capacity for Texas Monthly since last year.
He and LeighAnn Bakunas, Texas Monthly's Marketing Services Director, helped organize the event.
"What I find most remarkable is that this tradition that seemed to be on its way out in the 1980s and early 1990s has found some form of revitalization, in of all places, New York City," said Wayne Mueller. "The more there is, the more competition there is, the higher the quality becomes, and I think everybody benefits from that."
Nick Pencis, also a family affair
We're not sure if Nick's son (not pictured) or his daughter is the heir to Stanley's.
Pitmasters and Editor
Clockwise from bottom left: Daniel Vaughn of Texas Monthly, Nick Pencis of Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue, Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue, Barrett Black, and Kent Black of Black's Barbecue.
Also in attendance, from left to right: Literary agent David Black, Blue Smoke head chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois, and restaurateur Danny Meyer.
Whiskey is what happens when Brooklyn pitmaster Dan Delaney feels generous.