The Dallas Morning News
Bumbershoot has a new pitmaster
Aaron Courtney is now smoking at the Argyle barbecue restaurant
Bumbershoot Barbecue, the Argyle restaurant with one of the best patios in Denton County, has a new pitmaster. The Colony resident and chef Aaron Courtney has been smoking on Bumbershoot’s Oyler pit since late February.
Bumbershoot offers the same menu from pre-pandemic times: pulled pork, turkey, brisket, ribs and the like. But soon, Courtney will add some new items, like house-made pickles, which he also sells via his company, Aaron’s Pickles and More. Courtney also has ambitions of adding a summer corn succotash dish with Cajun spices and blue cheese as well as a cold pasta salad with pico, bacon and
“What we’ve got here isn’t broken,” Courtney says of the barbecue joint. The brisket will still be made in the traditional Central Texas style: rubbed in salt and pepper, then cooked low and slow. Courtney is using hickory and pecan wood instead of post oak, saying he likes the strong flavor of the hickory balanced with the more mellow pecan.
The patio at Bumbershoot is as great as ever, with picnic tables, nicely spaced, beckoning barbecue lovers on a sunny afternoon. It’s also fun place for kids because of the Gnome Cones stand nearby. Bumbershoot will eventually have live music again, when the leaders of parent company Radical Hospitality feel comfortable enough to add it back.
Bumbershoot is part of a family of Denton, Argyle and Celina restaurants that includes LSA Burger Co., Barley and Board, and Bongo Beaux’s Bourre Palace and Cajun Kitchen. Within walking distance from Bumbershoot are St. Argyle’s Cajun Kitchen and Pirogue Sales, a newish restaurant with New Orleans influences, and Earl’s 377 pizza — also Radical Hospitality brands.
Soon, Radical Hospitality will open two restaurants in the Grandscape development next to Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony.
Former corporate chef Chad Kelley, who created the menus at the above restaurants, left the company in January. While Courtney has taken over as the pitmaster of Bumbershoot Barbecue, the company has not announced who will be the overseeing chef for the other restaurants yet.
This is Courtney’s first job as a pitmaster, though he spent part of the pandemic traveling around Texas, eating barbecue. Courtney previously worked as
sous-chef at Mot Hai Ba, chef de cuisine at Rapscallion and head chef of the Market at Bonton Farms, all in Dallas. Courtney is geeky about fermentation and is currently experimenting with making his own vinegar and kombucha.
He has ambitions of adding smoked desserts to the Bumbershoot menu. “I’m thinking maybe chocolate chip bacon cookies,” Courtney says.