WARNER ROBINS -- Just over a decade ago Bob Evans started out in the barbecue business by cooking in the parking lot of Flash Foods in Warner Robins.
Today Georgia Bob’s has expanded into four restaurants in Middle Georgia and will soon be featured on a popular national TV show, “BBQ Pitmasters.”
Filming will be done Saturday while the company competes in the Atlanta Bar-B-Q Festival. The company, to be represented by its pitmaster Danny Outlaw, was picked to be among three teams featured on the show, in which barbecue masters compete against each other.
One of the other competitors is Dionn Lanton of Dublin, owner and pitmaster of the Holy Smokes BBQ Team. He could not be reached for comment. The other competitor is Bear Solane of Gainesville.
The episode is part of the new season of the show, which will begin airing in November on Destination America. The date in which the Georgia Bob’s show will air has not been determined.
The show began on TLC but is moving to Destination America for the new season. Destination America was formerly the Planet Green channel.
Georgia Bob’s operates locations in Warner Robins, Byron, Macon and Milledgeville.
Evans said the company contacted him about possibly being on the show and asked him to send in a video. He did and was chosen.
“I think it’s going be some great publicity for us, so I don’t think we can lose even if we lose the competition,” Evans said.
After starting at the Flash Foods in Warner Robins, which is a sit-down restaurant still in operation, Evans went on to open locations in Byron and Macon. The Milledgeville location is the first franchise store, and Evans hopes to expand with more franchises.
He said one secret to his barbecue is that he uses only the ham portion of the hog, while many cooks use the shoulder or butt. The butt, often called Boston Butt, is actually the upper portion of the shoulder. He said the ham portion is leaner, therefore healthier and more flavorful.
Evans said his best advice to home barbecuers is to appreciate the importance of sauce. He said many people can cook the meat well enough but fail when it comes to the sauce.
“The sauce is what is really going to make it,” he said.
The restaurants serve a range of foods in addition to barbecue, and Evans said one of his most popular items is actually chicken salad.
While the three competitors to be featured on the show are competing in the festival, they are also having a separate competition just for the show, said Debbie Gottschalk, the show’s publicity manager.
They will be asked to cook a particular item, which will be unknown to them until the competition, she said. The item will be something that is popular in the region, she said.
The winner, she said, gets “regional bragging rights.”
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.