Friday, March 30, 2012

The First Barbecue?

Latham "Bum" Dennis and Larry Dennis, owners of Bum's Restaurant in Ayden, NC. (Photo by Denny Culbert)

According to lore, the Dennis family follows a tradition set half a million years ago when man first roasted a wild animal over wood. Most of humanity quit smoking pigs and other creatures over burning embers, but “We just didn't never stop,” says Larry Dennis, manager and pitmaster at Bum’s Restaurant in Ayden. His father, the namesake “Bum,” opened his place back in 1963, thus placing himself in the innumerable company of Dennis barbecue masters.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Standard Bearers of Barbecue: Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC

Skylight Inn (Pete Jones Barbecue) and Samuel Jones (Photos by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

At age 4, Samuel Jones told a newspaper reporter that, when he grows up, he wanted to be a trashman and the Prince of Barbecue. Sam’s grandfather, Pete Jones, the designated “King of Barbecue,” opened the Skylight Inn in 1947. Then only seventeen, Pete set out on his own after learning the trade from his extended family, the Dennis clan, whom history shows to be the first in North Carolina to serve pit barbecue to the public.