POSTED Thu. Nov 5, 2015


Barbecue? It's Not Rocket Science
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

Two summers ago, I witnessed a group of tourists making their way through New Orleans. They were sightseeing, they had an itinerary, and they had a purpose. They were going to their next destination and ignoring any superfluous distractions along the way.

And then, they stopped. It was a group of seven, and they all, like a colony of penguins watching a plane fly overhead, swiveled their necks at once. Their pupils dilated. Their noses perked up. You could see, at the edges of their mouths, the beginnings of drool glistening at their lips.

They had smelled barbecue.

OK, maybe I didn’t quite glimpse the dilaton and the drool, but I promise, the entire pack of tourists did turn their heads as one, and I did too, because there are few sensory explosions like the way a good cloud of sweet, spicy barbecue smoke reaches right into your nostrils and yanks at your entire internal hunger apparatus.

You know who else recognizes the power of barbecue on our senses? The good folks at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, who are hosting a barbeque weekend Nov 6-7. The focus of the weekend is South Carolina barbecue, which is tough to find in New Orleans (in fact, there’s something like three or four major South Carolina regional styles of ‘que, and I want to try them all).

The weekend will be hosted by Dr. Howard Conyers, a New Orleans resident who is (we’re not kidding) a NASA scientist at Stennis Space Center and a pit master who loves making his own barbecue, which may be the best thing I type all day. See the below video for more background.

Robert Moss, who has the enviable job of being the Southern Living Magazine barbecue columnist, will also be in attendance. The event is twofold: a free day of lectures on Saturday (that’s right, free museum admission) for the general public, and for interested parties, a $250 barbecue weekend pass. We do mean ‘weekend pass’: on Nov 6, guests will spend the night at SoFAb in the Gumbo Gardens as Conyers tends to his slow smoking hogs.

Those who spend the night will be getting plenty of grub, and hey – when else are you going to see barbecue made by a literal rocket scientists? (I know, he’s a structural engineer. Whatever). If anything else, we predict this weekend yields the best designed barbecue pit in the galaxy. More information, and tickets, here.

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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


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    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


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    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

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    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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