The Dallas Morning News

Bumbershoo­t has a new pitmaster

Aaron Courtney is now smoking at the Argyle barbecue restaurant

- By SARAH BLASKOVICH Staff Writer sblaskovic­h@dallasnews.com

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

bechamel sauce.

“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.

Yes, please.

 ?? Photos by Lola Gomez/staff Photograph­er ?? Diners can choose from meats like brisket, ribs and pulled pork, along with a variety of sides, on Bumbershoo­t Barbecue’s three-meat plate.
Photos by Lola Gomez/staff Photograph­er Diners can choose from meats like brisket, ribs and pulled pork, along with a variety of sides, on Bumbershoo­t Barbecue’s three-meat plate.
 ??  ?? Loaded tots come with cheddar cheese, chopped brisket, sour cream, barbecue sauce and jalapeños.
Loaded tots come with cheddar cheese, chopped brisket, sour cream, barbecue sauce and jalapeños.
 ??  ?? Bumbershoo­t’s meats are smoked using hickory and pecan wood, which pitmaster Courtney likes for contrast: Hickory has a stronger smoke flavor and pecan is more mellow.
Bumbershoo­t’s meats are smoked using hickory and pecan wood, which pitmaster Courtney likes for contrast: Hickory has a stronger smoke flavor and pecan is more mellow.
 ??  ?? Aaron Courtney has worked at Mot Hai Ba, Rapscallio­n and the Market at Bonton Farms, all in Dallas.
Aaron Courtney has worked at Mot Hai Ba, Rapscallio­n and the Market at Bonton Farms, all in Dallas.

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