Today Mitchell is regarded as one of the world’s foremost pitmasters, with a line of signature sauces and rubs, a new restaurant in Raleigh, The Preserve, and an induction in the 2022 Black BBQ Hall of Fame. His son, Ryan, left a career in corporate finance to join his dad as heir to the barbecue legacy.
Together they share their techniques, and the rich story behind them tracing back to their enslaved ancestors, in “Ed Mitchell’s Barbeque” (Ecco, $37.50). Zella Palmer, a New Orleans-based scholar and filmmaker whose own roots are intertwined with the Mitchells’, poignantly chronicles their journey. Recipes cover every part of the pig, “from the rooter to the tooter,” along with side dishes, desserts, and other regional-flavored mains such as Washtub Fish Stew and Ryan’s Cracklin’ Crusted Wings.
Gorgeous environmental and still-life photography, historic snapshots, and lively oral histories ensure that the conversation Mitchell stoked about Black pitmasters’ contributions to the food world continues to burn bright. It’s about time.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter
Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.