Meet the pit­mas­ters cook­ing up freshtwists on an old tra­di­tion. Plus, recipes (page10) for your new fa­vorite chicken and ribs.

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Parade - - WHAT AMERICA EATS - By Dan Gen­tile cover pho­tog­ra­phy by JODY HOR­TON

Hous­ton’s Young Gun

At age 30, when most peo­ple still strug­gle to throw a suc­cess­ful din­ner party, Hous­ton na­tive Greg Gatlin was slow-smok­ing dozens of briskets a week. He opened Gatlin’s BBQ in 2010 in a 700-square-foot bun­ga­low with just three em­ploy­ees, two of whom were his par­ents. Seven years later, his brisket is lauded as the best in the city, and he’s since moved to a much larger space.

“We’re pay­ing homage to the orig­i­nal style of bar­be­cue but mak­ing it our own,” says Gatlin, 37, who works with clas­si­cally trained French chef col­lab­o­ra­tor Michelle Wal­lace. “Bar­be­cue isn’t just a bunch of guys sit­ting around eat­ing any­more. You want some lighter things.”

His menu fea­tures sta­ples of Texas tra­di­tion, like a moist brisket with a thick three-pep­per bark and mon­strously fatty beef ribs, but Wal­lace helps Gatlin’s stand out with spe­cials like Asian-style beef rib tacos mar­i­nated in sesame oil and grilled corn on the cob with jalapeño–brown sugar com­pound but­ter.

Greg Gatlin of Gatlin’s BBQ in Hous­ton

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