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