COLLEGE STATION, Texas— People from Texas say they like to do things bigger and better—including barbecue.
The three-day course is put on by Foodways Texas and Meat Science Section of the Texas A&M Department of Animal Science and covers all aspects of barbecue from picking the right pit to selecting the perfect mix of spices.
It’s a marriage of science and art, where expert pit-masters share their knowledge of everything barbecue so backyard grillers can improve their skills.
Kerry Bexley knows all too well what it takes to become the best.
“I’ve been fortunate and blessed with a lot of recognition,” said Bexley.
“It’s just a lot of hard to work to do barbecue, and do it good. There’s a lot of TLC that goes into it,” he added.
Novice pit-masters came from all over the country to hear Bexley and other experts, like Russel Roegel from Roegel’s Barbecue in Houston, shared their knowledge.
Felipe Guerra traveled all the way from Chile.
“I flew around 5,000 miles from Santiago to Houston,” said Guerra.
Guerra wants to learn all he can, so he can bring Texas barbecue to South America.
“We love the meat, the smoke, the smell. And, barbecue in South America is very different,” he said.
Back in Chile, Guerra built a pit himself and learned to smoke meats from watching YouTube videos.
He wants to up his barbecue game, so he can open a restaurant in his home country.
Campers also made a stop by the legendary Martin’s Place in Bryan to sample some authentic barbecue.
“It’s all hand turned by me, and cooked over coals,” said owner Steve Kapchinskie. “The way barbecue should be.”
Martin’s Place has been opened since the 1920’s and Kapchinskie has been tending those coals for 50 years.
Kapchinskie took over the place from his father where he learned to master his skills at age 12.
“I used to have to clean out the pits,” he said. “Isn’t that something?”
“You know that's all I know and that's what I was brought up to do,” he said.
“I'm sure my grandfather and my dad would be proud that I'm still keeping it going,” he added.
And, if you’re one of the lucky ones who got a ticket this year, you’ll see that the camp isn’t just about learning to smoke the perfect piece of meat.
It’s also about building a community of people who share a love and passion for good barbecue.
You can learn more about Barbecue Summer Camp by visiting the Foodways Texas website.