The Resort at Paws Up Welcomes Austin Grill Master Evan LeRoy for BBQ-U

Comfortable around a live fire from a young age, Chef Evan LeRoy’s culinary experiences range from fine dining at Hudson’s on the Bend to barbecue at Hill Country Barbecue. LeRoy was named as one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 rising stars in the Austin culinary scene. LeRoy has appeared on Burgers, Brew & Que and Food Porn and gained the title of Austin Grill Master on the Travel Channel.

In 2017, LeRoy opened the barbecue truck LeRoy and Lewis, with a rotating menu of nontraditional meats and cuts and a working motto of “new school barbecue, old school service.” LeRoy has also traveled to Australia and Russia to train and work with prospective pit masters and is known for his openness to teaching and sharing smoking secrets. We are thrilled to have him this year for BBQ-U on June 22–24, 2018. We had a chance to sit down with LeRoy for a quick interview.

The last time you visited Paws Up was in 2016, correct? Tell us a little about your favorite memory on our ranch.

Correct. I took a hike through the woods one morning and saw a bald eagle for the first time in my life. Also, the last day of archery with my wife was fun and competitive.

What activity are you most excited about trying on property?

I’m most interested in doing some fishing this trip. I was not able to do that last time, and it seems like fun.

How did you become interested in barbecue?

I’ve been interested in barbecue for a long time. Since I was a kid cooking in the backyard with my dad. It’s more than an interest growing up in Texas—it’s an ingrained part of our culture.

Can you tell us about the dual smoker, which we hear you’re bringing to Paws Up? And why it’s called “the twins”?

Between leaving Freedmen’s (my last BBQ job) and opening LeRoy and Lewis, I taught some classes to keep me busy, keep money coming in and to stay relevant in the barbecue scene. I liked the idea of cooking with people and connecting with people over BBQ on a deeper level. One of my students was Sheldon Mason from Montana. He has his own pop-up BBQ business, and he designed the pits for capacity and travel—as two back-to-back smokers that mirror one another.

Can you explain what you mean by “new school barbecue”?

As the next generation of Texans who are carrying this tradition of barbecue into the next decades, it’s our responsibility to put our own stamp on it, improve it and give it to those who come after us. New school BBQ is about taking the method and soul of BBQ and injecting new life into it with updates on classic cuts, global flavor profiles and modern hospitality.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Vegetables, mostly in pasta and stir fries. I like to keep it simple and use herbs from my garden. I also use a lot of eggs.

What is your favorite cooking show on television?

Used to be Good Eats. Now it’s Mind of a Chef.

Is there something you’ve never grilled that you want to attempt?

I’ve never cooked a fish I caught on the beach or on a shore. I would love to do that.

 What travel destination is next on your bucket list?

Germany, Hawaii, Italy.

If you could cook alongside one barbecue chef, who would it be?

I would love to cook with Tootsie Tomanetz from Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, TX.

Make Your Memorial Day Plans Now

We’ve stoked the flames of anticipation for this year’s Montana Master Grillers event (May 25–28) with an all-new lineup of grilling greats. This year’s weekend-long event features maestros of the grill who have worked their fiery magic from deep in the heart of Texas to Boston’s Fenway Park. Each has a unique take on BBQ delights.

Join us as we fire up the grills with MMG veteran Chef Tim Byres, newcomers Chef Nicole Pederson and Chef Steve “Nookie” Postal as well as local Chef Burke Holmes from Missoula’s Notorious P.I.G. BBQ and Chef Pat Martin from Hugh-Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop and Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville, Tennessee. Besides their flame-kissed wonders, we’ll add a bevy of beverages from KettleHouse Brewing Company, Glacier Distilling Company and Wagner Family of Wine and nightly music by Dan Dubuque, Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja and the Lil Smokies making this one unforgettable Memorial Day weekend.

In true Paws Up style, our BBQ mastery will be served with healthy doses of stunning scenery, luxurious accommodations and wilderness adventures. May we recommend a few hours riding the range with the Garnet Mountains as your sidekick or rustling up some trout from the beautiful Blackfoot River?

In true Paws Up style, our BBQ mastery will be served with healthy doses of stunning scenery, luxurious accommodations and wilderness adventures. May we recommend a few hours riding the range with the Garnet Mountains as your sidekick or rustling up some trout from the beautiful Blackfoot River?

Chef Tim Byres, named the Southwest 2012 Food & Wine magazine’s People’s Best New Chef, is the co-owner and chef of SMOKE, Chicken Scratch, The Foundry, Bar Belmont, Spork and SMOKE Plano. Originally from California but a longtime Texan, Byres is best known for his “live fire cookery,” worldly and approachable flavors and fun, family-style service.

Named Best Al Fresco Restaurant by Boston Magazine as well as Best Neighborhood Takeout Restaurant, Commonwealth is owned by Chef Steve “Nookie” Postal, a veteran chef of Cambridge’s Oleana and Casablanca restaurants. Commonwealth sits proudly in Boston’s vibrant Kendall Square. Fresh ingredients shine and take center stage via simple executions.

After learning secrets, techniques and recipes from world-famous pit masters in his native St. Louis, Missouri, Chef Burke Holmes brought the soul of true barbecue to Missoula, Montana. With such an authentic background, it’s no wonder Holmes’ Notorious P.I.G. BBQ was voted both Best BBQ and Best New Restaurant in Missoula. Always smoking meats over local cherrywood and applewood, Holmes typically applies his favorite rubs and sauces to everything from ribs and beef brisket to smoked cranberry-cayenne chicken wings.

Chef Nicole Pederson has an impressive pedigree in food. After culinary school in her hometown of Minneapolis, she gained valuable experience cooking in the south of France. Pederson also worked at Gramercy Tavern in New York and then headed to the Lula Cafe in Chicago, where she honed her passion for all things local. Pederson also held the post of Executive Chef at C-House.

Before becoming The Resort at Paws Up’s executive chef, Sunny Jin’s culinary journey took him around the world, cooking for some of the planet’s finest restaurants—Napa Valley’s French Laundry, Catalonia’s El Bulli and Australia’s Tetsuya’s. While his culinary skills have impressed discriminating palates globally, it’s the American Northwest where he feels most at home. His formative cooking skills developed in Portland, Oregon, at the Western Culinary Institute, where he won the coveted Grand Toque Award as the top culinary student.