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Austin, Just for Barbecue, Really?

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Franklin Barbecue - Austin Texas

The Spark

John Favreau’s food truck odyssey across the southern US in the 2014 hit film CHEF, sparked an obsession within me. The movie was a favorite among my culinary colleagues. In the film, Chef Carl Casper, (Favreau), his sous chef Martin (John Leguizamo), and ten-year-old son Percy, (Emjay Anthony), stop in Austin, Texas. They meet Aaron Franklin (played by himself) at his namesake restaurant. They savor Franklin’s highest standard setting beef brisket.

I was mesmerized as Aaron pulled a brisket from the smoker, the lingering smoke and the peppery aroma from the dark and crusty briskets practically wafted into my livingroom. The heavenly juiciness and deep smoke ring were revealed when they took the first slices. I have been in pursuit of perfectly smoked meats, particularly beef brisket, pork ribs, and pulled pork since first seeing this revelatory movie.