Just last week, we were urging you guys to vote for Tim Byres of SMOKE and Tre Wilcox of Marquee Grill for Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” in the Southwest category. And, boy, did you vote. Tim Byres is the Southwest champion for the second year in a row. He must have a strong following or something, because this guy just smoked nine other strong contenders (including the recently crowned king of Top Chef Season 9, Paul Qui) and now his lovely face and profile will be included in the July 2012 issue of Food & Wine.
If you’re not sure why he’s a big deal, take a look at the profile below:
WHY HE’S AMAZING Because he goes beyond just barbecue, with an in-kitchen wood grill and smoke pit for smoking or curing almost every dish on the menu.
CULINARY SCHOOL Johnson & Wales University (Miami)
BACKGROUND Stephan Pyles, Mansion Restaurant (Dallas)
MUST-TRY DISH Hand-pulled all-natural whole hog, North Carolina style, which is roasted overnight.
WHAT SMELLS SO GOOD Byres smokes or cures almost all his dishes over wood, using either the mesquite-fueled wood grill and barbecue pit in the kitchen or a vintage Appalachian cold smoker out back, which uses hickory, pecan wood and charcoal.
MENU INSPIRATION Before opening Smoke in fall 2009, Byres spent the summer traveling across the South in a rebuilt VW bus, tasting regional barbecue. “Everybody wants to label barbecue styles and areas,” he says. “But wherever you go in the rural South, styles developed from availability and necessity. It’s just honest cooking.”
LOCAL FLAVORS The kitchen team planted an herb and vegetable garden behind the Hotel Belmont, where the restaurant is located.
If you’re feeling a lot of Tim Byres-love today, go vote for him in our People’s Choice Best Chef category so he can also show up in the August issue of D Magazine.