Aaron Franklin has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years for his Austin, TX based barbecue joint, Franklin Barbecue. He shocked the culinary world last year when he walked away with the James Beard Foundation Award, Best Chef Southwest in May, 2015 – quite a coup for a BBQ master.
Franklin’s story is one that inspires all of us amateurs with his apparent rags to riches story of success. From selling BBQ off a trailer on the side of the highway in Austin, to having what many consider the best BBQ in Texas. Open 6 days a week at 11:00 am, he closes each day when he sells out, which has happened every day since his opening. Fans are typically found forming a line at his door as early as 4:00 am to ensure their chance of getting in before it’s too late.
I first heard about Franklin when I happened to catch, quite by accident, his PBS series BBQ with Franklin. His approach is straight forward and easy to follow. His demeanor as a host is incredibly approachable and never comes across with a sense of superiority – which he would most certainly be justified in having with the success he’s enjoyed.
Without focusing on the voodoo that can only be employed to fully master the true nature of wood fired smoked meats, when you see him do it, it seems anyone could walk away believing they too could someday be the next BBQ phenom.
Here’s a few of my favorite Franklin related things for those who want to know more:
- TV Series – BBQ with Franklin on PBS
- Book – Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
- Video – 24 Hours at Franklin Barbecue from Bon Appetit