Darrell Brown, Executive Chef
For Darrell Brown, the job as The Pit's executive chef is a homecoming of sorts. Darrell has been cooking hogs at family get-togethers for more than 20 years. A native of Tarboro, N.C., Darrell grew up in Maryland and was pulled into restaurants at the age of 18. He started his career at Caesars Palace in Atlantic City, N.J., working his way up through the kitchen ranks. Darrell later spent two years as an executive chef at Hard Rock Café and nearly 14 years as an executive chef with Maggiano's Little Italy. It was during his visits home to Maryland and to see family in Tarboro where he learned the secrets of cooking whole-hog barbecue from older generations of his family. He brings to The Pit not only experience in front of a pig cooker, but also cherished family recipes for many of the classic Southern favorites that typically are served at a pig pickin'.
Bob Garner, 'Minister of Barbecue Culture'
Bob Garner shares our passion for historic and cultural preservation, including nurturing our state's historic foodways...and most especially our rich barbecue legacy. At the restaurant, on the web, at special events and through the printed word, he will join us as strive to become even more enthusiastic caretakers of this colorful segment of our popular culture.
He's the author of North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time, an exploration of North Carolina's long-standing love affair with barbecue, and Bob Garner's Guide to North Carolina Barbecue, a popular restaurant guide. Publisher John F. Blair will combine both works, with much new and updated material, into Bob Garner's Book of Barbecue, to be published in May 2012.
Bob is a familiar face on UNC-TV, North Carolina's statewide public television network, where he produces regular restaurant features for North Carolina Weekend, broadcast statewide on Thursday and Friday evenings. He is perhaps best known for his previous hour-long special, North Carolina Barbecue, based on his first book. He has also written extensively for Our State magazine, including a 10-part series on traditional southern foods entitled Bob Garner Eats.
He has appeared on The Food Network's Paula's Home Cookin', featuring Paula Deen, and FoodNation with Bobby Flay; ABC's Good Morning, America; and the Travel Channel's Road Trip. Garner has also been a featured speaker at the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in New York and the Southern Foodway Alliance annual symposium in Oxford, Mississippi.