Pitmaster and whole hog aficionado Rodney Scott apparently has dreams to open a barbecue joint in New York City.
The Charleston legend dropped by the Eater Upsell podcast to talk smoked meats and ambitious expansion plans and says the only reason he hasn’t opened up in NYC already is that he hasn’t found the right building yet. “The space is very important as well as the people around it,” he says. “You want the residents and the neighbors to be comfortable with what you’re bringing.”
Scott made history this year by becoming the second pitmaster ever to receive a James Beard Award. He runs Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, a tribute to whole hog barbecue as well as other Southern classics like fried catfish, spare ribs, and barbecue chicken. A Birmingham expansion is already in the works, but Scott won’t stop there. He says that he wants to bring his whole hog barbecue to the whole world, and his ideal third city is right here in New York.
NYC is no stranger to Scott’s smoked meats. He’s a household name at the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, which has been running for 16 years and has gotten so big that it’s looking for a new home. Over the weekend, his stand was so popular that he ran out of ribs long before the event stopped.
New Yorkers are clearly hungry for barbecue, and whole hog is still a hard to find in the city; Arrogant Swine in Bushwick became the first whole hog barbecue joint in NYC in 2014. Scott helped turn Charleston into a vital barbecue destination, and an NYC expansion of Rodney Scott’s BBQ could seriously up the city’s barbecue game.