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Texas Barbecue: A Metaphor for Life?

SXSW Texas BBQ Panel

SXSW Texas BBQ Panel

The first thing visitors to SXSW in Austin want to know is: “Where is the nearest barbecue joint and what do I order when I get there?” So this year Joe Nick Patoski organized a Texas barbecue panel at SXSW featuring John Morthland from Texas Monthly, Rick Schmidt from Kreuz Market, the Kitchen Sisters, photographer Wyatt Spadden and myself. The panel discussion focused on the basics, but there was still plenty of room for debate. Afterwards, I signed a whole lot of copies of the Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook at the SXSW bookstore.

Reactions were swiftly posted:

Austin Chronicle: While everyone had a different response to Patoski’s question, “What is Texas barbecue?” it was Houston Press food critic (and former Chronicle Robb Walsh who gave the most insightful answer: “With a couple different sources and a couple different styles, it’s easy to argue about.” When an audience member asked for recommendations of barbecue in Austin, a short list was offered before Patoski summed things by recommending a short trip to Lockhart. “It’s the epicenter of Texas barbecue,” he said.

BuzzBandsLA.com: Rock bands are great and all, but I started my day at the “BBQ the Texas Way” discussion at the Austin Convention Center and came away thinking barbecue might be a metaphor for life — at least the way panelists were lamenting how the general homogenization of society is destroying barbecue traditions.

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