Sam Jones, 2011. Photo by Denny Culbert.
Don't miss Rien Fertel's interview with pitmaster Sam Jones of Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina, on this month's special Southern BBQ Trail edition of okracast.
The Trail's introduction to the man behind the meat posits, "At age four, Samuel Jones told a newspaper reporter that, when he grows up, he wanted to be a trash man and the Prince of Barbecue. Sam's grandfather, Pete Jones, the designated 'King of Barbecue,' opened the Skylight Inn in 1947. Then only seventeen, Pete set out on his own after learning the trade from his extended family, the Dennis clan, whom history shows to be the first in North Carolina to serve pit barbecue to the public. Pete Jones liked to boast that barbecue ran in his blood. Sam's father, Bruce Jones, jokes that he used to put hog grease in his son's milk bottle to make sure that barbecue would course through his veins too. Despite his barbecue birthright, the teenage Sam quit the Skylight Inn.
Sam now runs the family business and compares his return to that of a flag bearer maintaining the standard on the battlefield. For the once and future Prince of Barbecue, the Skylight Inn smokes pigs the same way since time began: 'Whole hog cooked over wood, the way my ancestors and my family did it year and years ago.'"
Hungry for more after a listen? Watch Joe York's film on Skylight Inn: Capitol Q. And check out the High on the Hog Carolina Field Trip itinerary to see where SFA-ers will get their of pig in eastern North Carolina next month.
Grab some headphones and go!