Classes will teach 'Art of BBQ'

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Art school to offer programs that tie in with the 7th Annual Smoke on the Mountain BBQ Championship.

By April Wright, Reporter


A free lecture and slideshow presentation — “Blue Ridge, Bluegrass and BBQ” —  will be held on Friday at 3 p.m. at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts to tell the story of how The Galax Smokehouse and its barbecue became a staple in the Galax area.
This will be followed by a class at The Galax Smokehouse July 30-31 on “The Art of BBQ,” with the restaurant’s pitmaster Earl Cherry.
The first day of class, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., will focus on the history of barbecue, the geographic significance, a variety of styles and a thorough introduction to Galax’s claim of the best barbecue around. The second day’s class, from 4-7 p.m., involves hands-on instruction, in which students will cook and leave with a half rack of ribs, a pound of barbecue pork and a pint of sauce.
Tuition is $70, and materials fee is $10.

For more about Smoke on the Mountain, click HERE

These classes coincide with the Smoke on the Mountain state barbecue competition, which The Galax Smokehouse owners and the Twin County Regional Chamber of Commerce began seven years ago. The competition is Friday and Saturday.
Ron Passmore and Dan Milby, owners of the restaurant, will explain how The Galax Smokehouse, which opened in 2003, came to be. After years of entertaining with recurring dreams of opening a restaurant, the two were given the opportunity to pursue that dream and traveled the country researching barbecue, learning all they could about recipes. The restaurant specializes in Memphis-style barbecue.
The restaurant has shown profits since its opening and prides itself in gaining the “National BBQ News” best-of-the-best barbecue award in its first year. The restaurant has been featured in “Southern Living” three times, with the magazine naming its banana pudding the best in the Southeast.
Galax always has been known for its music, but because of the state barbecue contest, it is now known for its barbecue and restaurants, said Chris Shackelford, director of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.
“This class is an example of what the art school is here to do,” said Shackelford. “We want to encourage those who come to the lecture to register to come back to the class. We not only want to gain students from the immediate area, but also tourists.”
Shackelford said the school hopes to make this an annual event.
“The Art of BBQ is not just about working with barbecue, but the mastery of the skill,” she said. “We’re constantly surveying the community in what they would like to see, and cooking is one of the most requested classes.”
The art school has held classes on Appalachian cooking and making apple butter.
“This is a perfect opportunity for the restaurant owners to shine and tell their story,” she said. “Between the lecture and the class, students can get to know the instructors and learn about barbecue with a hands-on experience. This allows us to continue to make the most of the school and showcase what is here.
“The Galax Smokehouse is an asset to the community, and this is going to be a real delight to hear the Smokehouse owners’ story,” Shackelford said. “Maybe people will come out of curiosity about how to make barbecue, or if they know about the Smokehouse, maybe they’ll come out of the appreciation for barbecue.”

To sign up for “The Art of BBQ” class, call CCSA at 236-3500, or visit www.chestnutcreekarts.org. People can also register during the free lecture on Friday.