Patrick Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint in Nolensville was hopping this past weekend, according to diehards who waited in line and at tables for up to an hour for slow-cooked ribs and brisket. But that crowd is nothing compared to the throng that Martin plans to feed this summer at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in New York City.
As one of 14 pitmasters from around the country tapped to participate in the seventh annual barbecue fest, Martin will prepare enough whole hog and sweet pickles to feed 6,000 people on June 13 and 14. He's taking a dozen assistants and will cook alongside such barbecue luminaries as Ed Mitchell from the Pit in Raleigh, N.C., and Drew Robinson, head chef of Jim 'N Nick's from Birmingham, who will be showcasing the Alabama-based chain's smoked sausage with pimiento cheese and saltines.
After leaving a career in the financial markets and starting up his barbecue joint two-and-a-half years ago, Martin is humbled by the invitation to participate, which he equates to a James Beard Award for the barbecue world. "I'll be the only one there without a book and a Food Network show," he jokes.
But Martin does have a new website in the works and a blog where you can track everything from his baby on the way to his plans for a new store. (You can bet we'll update that on Bites as we learn more.)
In the meantime, Pat, good luck in the Big Apple. If you can make it there, well, you know.