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Foodie Events / Restaurants

Houston Pitmaster Steps Up to Help Atlanta Barbecue Institution Destroyed by Fire

Vaunted Heights Spot to Open at Night for Special All-Star Benefit

BY // 03.20.19

Mark your calendars for March 30 for a rare barbecue experience when Truth BBQ‘s pitmaster/owner Leonard Botello IV, in a rare move, opens his Heights area restaurant for one night spotlighting five of the leading barbecue chefs in the county, all in the name of helping award-winning Atlanta pitmaster Bryan Furman. Furman is recovering from a devastating fire that completely destroyed his award-winning restaurant, B’s Cracklin Barbecue.

Botello is organizing this grilled meat and sides extravaganza featuring six different dishes from famed pitmasters including Oakland’s Matt Horn of Horn BBQ; Taylor’s Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller BBQ; Asheville, North Carolina’s Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall BBQ and Los Angeles’ Burk Bakman of Trudy’s Underground Barbecue.

The fire ironically came on the heels of Furman being named a semifinalist in the James Beard 2019 Best Chef Southeast competition. The fire that destroyed his restaurant occurred only one week after the announcement in late February.

The lines have been forming outside of his place for months particularly after Bon Appétit magazine declared him Georgia’s “New King of Barbecue” last spring. “Furman cooks meat the old-fashioned way: over split logs of oak and pecan wood burning hot above layers of coals,” wrote Hilary Cadigan.

“There’s a lot of hype around Texas barbecue, barbecue in general and the idea of competition among pitmasters,” Botello tells PaperCity. “The reality is we are a pretty close community of friends and friends of friends — we share stories and tips and challenges. So when one of us gets hit hard, we all jump in.

“So when our mutual friend Matt Horn started a Go Fund Me page for B’s Cracklin’ after the fire, I thought, why not take it a step further and show him that barbecue is a big family and we are going to band together and help him.

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“I would hope someone would do the same for us, God forbid anything ever happen to Truth.” This even though Botello has never met Furman.

They’ll meet up on this night as Furman will be in Houston for the event. Getting these pitmasters together might seem a formidable challenge. But not so according to Botello.

“Grabbing the guys was easy — we cook to serve, and this is just one more opportunity to do that, while also giving customers a great night with a bunch of pitmasters they might not be able to go visit across the U.S.”

Tickets to the dinner are $175 and include food and drink with all proceeds go B’s Cracklin Barbecue. Reservations are available here through Eventbrite.

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