Monday, May 21

SFA Film at Big Apple BBQ Block Party June 9-10

Film Partnership between Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and Southern Foodways Alliance yields "Something Better than Barbecue"

"Something Better than Barbecue," a Joe York film, produced for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party by the Southern Foodways Alliance and the Center for Documentary Projects at the University of Mississippi focuses on Chuck Ferrell of Chuck's Bar-B-Q in Opelika, Alabama.

Ferrell and his style of barbecue represent an oft overlooked barbecue subculture, one that finds its home on either side of the lower Chattahoochee River which separates Alabama from Georgia. At every turn, Ferrell and his ilk defy easy categorization and give the lie to those who believe that all barbecue obeys borders and plays by the rules.

Forget low and slow, down here the style of cooking is hot and fast. Forget the idea that mustard-based barbecue sauces belong in the Carolinas. Pulled pork? Not so much. Here you get it chopped or chipped, with barbecue slaw and a not-so-kosher dill crown.

But that's not all. As the free religious tracts that lie stacked beside the counter at Chuck's Bar-B-Q proclaim, for Ferrell there's "Something Better Than Barbecue." Twenty years after accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, Ferrell uses his barbecue joint to point wayward souls toward the Lord.

In exploring this aspect of Ferrell's food and faith, we find ourselves at a crossroads, the intersection of religion and barbecue, two worlds which many southerners find hard to separate. (Running time: 30 minutes.)