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The Artisan Tradition of Barbecue

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

We love our barbecue in Texas, and one Texan who knows a lot about it is Robb Walsh, a James Beard Award-winning writer from Houston. He has a new book out, Barbecue Crossroads, and for the book he traveled across the South, documenting various barbecue styles, not just the food but the history behind the food and the restaurants that he ate at. We spoke with Beard about the real appeal of barbecue.

This is probably the greatest artisan food tradition of America, and that’s really what I found was the subject matter that I had been ignoring all these years, was what really drew us to barbecue. It wasn’t that this brisket is a 7.5 on a 10-point scale, it was that that table that you’re sitting at, people had been playing dominoes there for 50 years and they’d worn a pattern in the top of it. That’s fascinating; that’s inspiring.

Walsh will speak and sign books at BookPeople tonight at 7.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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