In case you haven’t heard, Texas Monthly magazine has hired its first barbecue editor, the only such position in the nation, or so they say. Media from far and wide have covered the news, with the coverage perhaps highlighted by a reverent piece in Texans’ favorite local rag, the New York Times.
With Texas Monthly’s decision, Daniel Vaughn–aka @BBQSnob of the Full Custom Gospel Barbecue blog–instantly became the envy of millions of red-blooded, meat-eating Americans (and probably more than a handful of New Yorkers too). How does the barbecue editor job compare with other enviable positions? Working at an architecture firm? Cool, but Vaughn left that gig for Texas Monthly. Founding your own start-up, Facebook? Lots of press but a money loser in the long run (wait for it, you’ll see). POTUS? Too much stress and too little time eating. You get the picture: this is a pretty good gig and if the job doesn’t cause Vaughn a coronary then he may well be the luckiest man on the face of this earth since Lou Gehrig himself.
The NYT article notes that Vaughn will be, “the only full-time barbecue critic on the staff of a major newspaper or magazine” in the country. Surely true, but redolent of Texan braggadocio. If Texas Monthly elevated BBQ writing to celebrity status, then North Carolina certainly deserves credit for starting the world down this path. See the well-articulated details on the North Carolina Miscellany blog. Among the blog post’s best points: “Not to pick on our friends in Texas, but the barbecue editor position at Texas Monthly, at least as described by the Times, sounds more like a barbecue critic, charged with seeking out and reviewing restaurants around the state. In other words, the same thing that Bob Garner has been doing for WUNC-TV and in print for nearly twenty years.” And thus, as with the origin of barbecue itself, North Carolina led the way.