Episode five of Top Chef: Charleston was all about barbecue and to help the cheftestants succeed, Bravo brought in the best — Rodney Scott of Scott's Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, S.C. Now as every real 'cue lover knows, Scott is in the midst of opening his first Charleston outpost which is slated to open in the old Chick's Fry House hopefully next month, so the timing couldn't have been better. The cheftestants' timing, however, wasn't as on point. For the chefs, come to find out the art form of cooking whole hog is not something you can learn overnight.
What the chefs should have done is follow professional pulled pork appreciator Robert Moss' Top 10 barbecue command— er, suggestions.
Here they are:
Robert Moss’s 10 BBQ Suggestions
1) Thou shalt not make a list of barbecue rules using words like “thou” and “shall.” Barbecue ain’t that fancy, and we don’t need people barking out commandments.
2) Try to use regionally appropriate sides, not just whatever crazy dish strikes your fancy. If you’re serving Piedmont North Carolina style chopped pork, hushpuppies and coleslaw (the red variety made with the region’s tomato-tinged vinegar sauce) are in order. If you’re doing central Texas style beef brisket, pickles and sliced onions will do. But please don’t mix ‘n match. Those traditional sides evolved the way they did to give the proper accompaniment to each region’s particular cooking style.
3) Feel free to fancy the sides up a bit with one or two exotic ingredients, but don’t overdo it. We don’t need bleu cheese or jicama in the slaw, much less both.
4) If you want to get really creative, do it with the mac ‘n cheese. People everywhere like mac ‘n cheese, and it can withstand plenty of cheffy touches.
5) Don’t try to pair wine with barbecue. Beer doesn’t pair with breakfast cereal, and wine doesn’t pair with barbecue.
6) Do drink one of the following with your barbecue: iced tea, beer, or a regionally appropriate soda (e.g. Big Red or Topo Chico with Texas barbecue, Red Rock Strawberry Soda with Pee Dee-style whole hog, Cheerwine with Piedmont NC chopped pork.)