8 Aug 2023
What’s the future of American barbecue?

American barbecue is a tradition that has evolved over centuries, resulting in a diverse tapestry of styles, flavors, and ingredients. In recent years, its popularity has exploded as new grilling enthusiasts, social media influencers, and even ardent vegans vye to hone the ‘craft’ of barbecue.

Ryan Mitchell is a fourth-generation pitmaster from Wilson, North Carolina, who specializes in North Carolina-style, whole-hog barbecue. His father is the legendary pitmaster Ed Mitchell, whose restaurant Mitchell’s Ribs, Chicken & Bar-B-Q was a beloved local outpost for close to 25 years. Ryan and Ed are co-authors of the 2023 cookbook Ed Mitchell’s Barbeque.

Sarah Lohman is a culinary historian originally from Hinckley, Ohio, whose work focuses on historic American foodways. She's the former curator of food programming at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Her first book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine was released in 2016, and her forthcoming book, Endangered Eating: America’s Vanishing Food is set to be published in late 2023.

Victoria Marin is a journalist and audio producer whose work focuses on foodways, urban farming, and Gen Y parenting. She has reported for outlets like The Washington Post, TimeOut, America’s Test Kitchen, Well+Good, and Vegetarian Times.