A Celebration of Appalachian BBQ Across Cultures: From Indigenous Roots to Global Pitmasters
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
- Bites from 15 of the most exciting SE region Pitmasters!
- Sips from 10 of the most interesting local beverage makers and mixologists!
- Co-curated by James Beard Award-Winning Author and Historian Adrian Miller, The Soul Food Scholar.
- Entertainment by Whitewater Bluegrass Co.
**All attendees at this event must be 21+ years of age and show a government issued ID to verify.
10+ Beverage Producers
…more details coming soon!
Adrian Miller is a food writer, James Beard Award winner, attorney, and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, Colorado.
Adrian received an A.B in International Relations from Stanford University in 1991, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1995. From 1999 to 2001, Miller served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton with his Initiative for One America – the first free-standing office in the White House to address issues of racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation. Miller went on to serve as a senior policy analyst for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr. From 2004 to 2010, he served on the board for the Southern Foodways Alliance. In June 2019, Adrian lectured in the Masters of Gastronomy program at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche (nicknamed the “Slow Food University”) in Pollenzo, Italy. He is currently the executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and, as such, is the first African American, and the first layperson, to hold that position.
In 2018, Adrian was awarded the Ruth Fertel “Keeper of the Flame Award” by the Southern Foodways Alliance, in recognition of his work on African American foodways. In 2019, Adrian received the Judge Henry N. and Helen T. Graven award from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, for being “an outstanding layperson, whose life is nurtured and guided by a strong sense of Christian calling, and who is making a significant contribution to community, church, and our society.”
Miller’s first book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time won the James Beard Foundation Award for Scholarship and Reference in 2014. His second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas was published on President’s Day 2017. It was a finalist for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction,” and the 2018 Colorado Book Award for History. Adrian’s third book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue, will be published Spring 2021.
Adrian serves on the boards of the following organizations: Artists Against Racism, Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church (Steward Board), Colorado Humanities, Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, Iliff School of Theology, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
Blair Machado, owner of Hamfish BBQ, is a classically-trained Chef and nomadic butcher. He curates dishes with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen. Known for whole animal butchery and open-fire cooking, Blair has worked in renowned kitchens from Virginia to Atlanta.
Shepard (he/him), a Carolina native, has over 20 years dedicated to the culinary industry. Shepard was self taught, starting in the dish pit and worked his way up. Shepard opened Urban Street Eats with his wife, a global street food truck that brought eclectic dishes from all over the world. They opened Nourish Juice Bar + Cafe, an organic juice bar serving Polynesian comfort foods. After the pandemic, Brandon turned to the food that brought him and his family the most joy; Barbecue.
JAMES JOE LEWIS- HEAD CHEF, 12 BONES SMOKEHOUSE ASHEVILLE, NC
Joe started in Food & Bev the way a lot of folks do, washing dishes in a restaurant when he was 15. Even though he grew up coming to the area, he officially landed in Asheville in 1997. For those familiar with Asheville in the 90s, after graduating from AB Tech Culinary he worked at Richmond Hill, Biltmore, and Gabriella’s. After several years of work and travel ranging from Florida all the way to Alaska, he came back in 2004 as the head chef of La Caterina. Here he really honed in his passion for the traditional methods of cooking, preserving, and curing meats. In 2008, he and his wife Lindsay started a bistro in Hendersonville called Square One. During that time, Joe helped with a beer dinner at 12 Bones Smokehouse. Shortly after, he sold his restaurant in 2011 and began his journey in BBQ. At 12 Bones he learned the process of smoking and it became a lifelong passion. While he loves all the traditional methods and foods of BBQ, he also loves stretching what that can mean: that could entail smoking a whole pork loin and running a riff on a traditional Cuban sandwich or smoking a whole leg of lamb for Easter dinner. One of his most nuanced dishes was rabbit with dates. He especially enjoys the process of experimenting with the different meats and cuts that go into making sausages. 12 Bones Smokehouse is proud to have Joe Lewis overseeing its culinary traditions, as his passion and experience has allowed the restaurant to maintain its position as a local Asheville staple.
Hailing from rural Southwestern Virginia, Travis Milton spent his childhood in a true Appalachian kitchen, learning the tried and true techniques for shucking beans, preserving and canning, and planting gardens. From his early teens, Milton fostered a deep love for cooking, learning through various restaurant roles from Todd Gray’s Equinox in Washington D.C. to Chris Cosentinos’ Incanto in San Francisco. Milton soon realized the magic he was able to create when marrying the memories of his family’s kitchen with the techniques of his mentors, and embarked on his dream journey of running a genuine Appalachian restaurant. Most recently, Milton opened the Inn at Nicewonder’s signature restaurant, Hickory, in Bristol, Virginia, where he has the stage to further explore, reimagine and elevate Applachian cuisine using approachable ingredients. Milton’s cooking is not replacing original Appalachian techniques, but instead introduces the cuisine in a fresh way that he hopes will build upon the cuisine’s heritage. When not in the kitchen, his favorite place to be is sitting on his front porch in one of his 680 pairs of Nikes kicks, enjoying his whiskey collection and listening to Whitney Houston.
Chow Chow’s 2023 Opening Party celebrates the evolution of barbecue across time, history and heritages — from Indigenous traditions to cultural influences from around the world now calling Southern Appalachia home. Curated by James Beard Award-Winning Author and Historian Adrian Miller, pitmasters from all manner of backgrounds, cultural identities and culinary traditions will offer their take on the art and history of barbecue, with acknowledgement of the many unnamed and unrecognized fire and smoke geniuses who have come before. The variety will surprise you, not only in the styles of barbecue but also in the inventive use of regional ingredients to interpret beef, pork, lamb, goat, fish and seafood, bison, turkey and wild game. Creative beverages will reflect the evening’s diversity of voices as well.