Gwen Fowler



Two S.C. BBQ masters cooking at NYC festival

Posted 5/22/2012 5:49:00 AM

Two South Carolina pitmasters will be dishing up their barbecue at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party June 9-10 in Madison Square Park in New York City.

Jimmy Hagood of BlackJack Barbecue in Charleston and Rodney Scott of Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway will be among about 18 pitmasters cooking for about 125,000 people.

Hagood will be cooking for his sixth consecutive year at the Block Party.

“We will cook 3,000 pounds of pork shoulder,” he said. “We’ll also make 800 pounds of cole slaw. We’ll take 50 gallons of barbecue sauce.”

He and his team will be taking his Big Red Rig – his 30-foot barbecue truck – to New York, soon after it returns from the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, Tenn., which ran May 17-19.

Hagood’s company, Food for the Southern Soul, includes BlackJack Barbecue, Tidewater Foods & Catering, and his own lines of Southern food products, Charleston Favorites and Rockland Plantation. Last summer he opened a barbecue kiosk – or “cue-osk” -- at the Charleston City Market

Scott has attended the Block Party for several years, but this will be his first year cooking there on his own. He plans to cook 10 hogs on Saturday and 10 on Sunday.

Scott’s Bar-B-Que began about 40 years ago when Rodney’s father, Roosevelt “Rosie” Scott, started cooking a pig once a week in the back of his auto repair business. The garage soon became a barbecue pit instead. Rodney Scott started cooking as a youngster and cooked his first pig on his own at age 11.

Rodney Scott collects wood to burn and shoves the hot coals into the pits. The hogs are cooked for about 12 hours, skin-side up, before being flipped, mopped with a vinegar and pepper sauce, and then cooked for another half hour.

In New York, Scott will be serving his barbecue the same way it is served in Hemingway – with a slice of white bread. He’ll also be serving pig skins.

“It will be just like we do it in Hemingway,” he said.

Southern Living recently included Scott in a list of the South’s best pitmasters, saying, “His adherence to tradition has won him the respect of fellow Southern chefs, such as Husk's Sean Brock, who rates Scott's as his "most favorite place to eat in the entire world."

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party began as a one-block party in 2002, and now it stretches around Madison Square Park, down Madison Avenue from 23th Street to 26th Street, and down 26th Street to Fifth Avenue. Admission is free, and barbecue is sold for $8 per plate.

The Block Party raises money for the Madison Square Park Conservancy.