A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 27, 2013
“All barbecue experts are self-proclaimed”

Calvin Trillin reported on Texas barbecue for The New Yorker‘s food issue in November 2008. Trillin wrote:

“Greg Curtis once reminded me that ‘all barbecue experts are self-proclaimed,’ but Texas Monthly had enough faith in Burka’s expertise to send him to Snow’s late in the selection process as what Smith calls ‘the closer.’”

Gregory Curtis is a writer who was for many years an editor of Texas Monthly, a publication that annually devotes part of an issue to Texas barbecue. “Self-proclaimed barbecue expert” J. C. Reid, founder of the Houston Barbecue Project, explained the saying in September 2011, calling it “kind of an inside joke among barbecue enthusiasts.”


Houston Foodie
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008
The New Yorker finds its Texas BBQ Religion
The New Yorker Food Issue is out and Texas BBQ is front and center.

The New Yorker dispatched none other than the esteemed Calvin Trillin to report first hand on Texas Monthly’s BBQ issue.
(...)
My favorite takeaway quote from the article, via former Texas Monthly editor Greg Curtis: “All barbecue experts are self-proclaimed.” True, true.

InsideLine
Quotes of the Week
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 00:00
“All barbecue experts are self-proclaimed.”
--Greg Curtis, Texas Monthly

Folio
The Accidental Profession
Editors are made, not born.

BY JOHN BRADY
08/28/2009
Magazine editing is not a job. It’s a calling. Like barbecue experts, most editors are self-proclaimed.

Google Books
Trillin on Texas
By Calvin Trillin
Austin, TX: University of Texas Press
2011
Pg. 4:
Greg Curtis once reminded me that “all barbecue experts are self-proclaimed,” but Texas Monthly had enough faith in Burka’s expertise to send him to Snow’s late in the selection process as what Smith calls “the closer.”
(Originally published in The New Yorker, November 24, 2008—ed.)

Eater.com—Houston
Houston Barbecue Project is a Gigantic Map of Smoky Meat
Tuesday, September 13, 2011, by Amber Ambrose
(...)
J.C. Reid, founder of the Houston Barbecue Project found time out of his busy brisket-eating schedule to give us some more background on the site and explains why all Texans are granted the “title of self-proclaimed barbecue experts.”
(...)
When did you first deem yourself a “barbecue expert,” as you so fondly refer to in your post?
I’d say the first time I ate Texas BBQ. There’s an old saying in Texas barbecue: “All barbecue experts are self-proclaimed.” This is kind of an inside joke among barbecue enthusiasts who acknowledge that trying to convince other barbecue enthusiasts that they know better is practically impossible. Proclaiming yourself a barbecue expert just means “This is what I think about BBQ and if you have a different opinion I respect that so let’s sit down and eat some barbecue and discuss it.” So as Texans, either by birth or adoption, we are all granted the title of self-proclaimed barbecue experts.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Wednesday, March 27, 2013 • Permalink