E58: Erasing Black Barbecue (w/ Johnny Walker, Adrian Miller, Daniel Vaughn and Brent & Juan Reaves)

 Daniel Vaughn / Johnny Walker / Adrian Miller / Brent & Juan Reaves

Daniel Vaughn / Johnny Walker / Adrian Miller / Brent & Juan Reaves

Hey y’all! We’re back in Texas with producer Stephanie Kuo, as she takes us on another tasty, tasty trip across her home state. This week, we’re talking barbecue. It’s delicious, it’s trendy, it’s decidedly American. But its story today has pretty huge holes. Over the past several years, joints like Franklin Barbecue in Austin have commandeered the barbecue narrative, and mainstream food media have fallen over themselves to give Aaron Franklin and Central Texas pitmasters like him their spotlight — largely ignoring the regional diversity of barbecue in Texas (and across the South) and ultimately erasing the Black and Brown folks who created it and built its legacy. For this reported episode, Stephanie talks to Soul Food Scholar Adrian Miller, Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn; Brent and Juan Reaves, co-owners of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas; and Johnny Walker, owner and pitmaster at Momma Jean’s BBQ in Lampasas, Texas.

Produced by Stephanie Kuo. Music by Robert Earl Keen, Pierce Murphy, AF the Naysayer and Blue Dot Sessions.

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