Ashley Christensen (Poole’s/Beasley’s Chicken + Honey/Chuck’s), Sam Jones (Skylight Inn), Mel Melton (Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse), Bill Smith (Crook’s Corner) and many more great chefs are part or at least associated with the Fatback Collective. We were very fortunate to get a chance to eat a special potluck dinner at Ashley Christensen’s home for charity.

The Fatback Collective was founded over glasses of Van Winkle Bourbon, neat, at the Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Charleston, SC by Nick Pihakis, Drew Robinson, John T. Edge and Donald Link. The conversation zigged and zagged a bit, but one common notion held forth: There is a passionate ring of people out there, with a deep burning fire to celebrate the simple, succulent swine. People with pens and forks and skewers and flasks who know and respect the way things ought to be done. Bringing those folks together sure would be a good idea.

To say the food was good would be an understatement – from the beer can chicken to the potluck dishes brought to share – it was all delicious. And – the company was really good too. We met a lot of great chefs. I’m really looking forward to visiting the Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC and Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse in Durham, NC. If either one is as good as their owners are cool – the food will be awesome.

It was great to hang out with Nick and Amy – and the chicken? Yes – I stuck a piece in my pocket to enjoy again tomorrow.

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