The Fatback Collective
The idea for The Fatback Collective, a dynamic group of Southern chefs, writers and farmers, was originally formed when a handful of these folks were discussing competition barbecue events over glasses of bourbon. Skeptical of the big, team-sport barbecue hoopla associated with large events like the one held in Memphis each year, the group began to wonder if they should try it out—instead of simply scoffing. What if a group of folks focusing on flavor, technique and using a breed of sustainably raised heritage pork entered the competition? The Fatback Collective was formed that night, and more members were invited to join the group. Not based on just their skill as pitmasters and cooks, but also on spirit and pride of place—of history and heritage.
At the Memphis In May 2011 BBQ Competition, The Fatback Collective took home the 3rd place trophy in the whole hog category—an amazing honor, especially for a rookie team. Since then the group has continued pursuing their friendships and education of technique and flavor by cooking and traveling together. They lend a hand to each other at various charity events, they gather together at conferences and restaurants, and in the process deepen the conversation and learn from each other. The result is an eagerness to expand the mission of the group.
The Fatback Collective challenges the status quo, builds community, and supports farmers, artisans, and progressive causes. Born in the South, Fatback has expanded to include chefs, restaurateurs, thinkers, and entrepreneurs from beyond the region. All believe in the possibilities of heritage breed livestock, the farmers who humanely raise them, the cooks who coax flavor from them, and the celebrants who commune around them.