Authors Adrian Miller and John Shelton Reed in Conversation at the Southern Festival of Books

Earlier this month we shared a virtual conversation held at the 33rd annual Southern Festival of Books. We’re back this week with another conversation and the topic is barbecue. Adrian Miller, author of Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue, and John Shelton Reed, co-author of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, break down barbecue; the history, the technique, and the reason this ancient cooking technique creates such passionate scholarship and discussion today.

Adrian Miller is a certified Kansas City Barbecue Society judge and recipient of a James Beard Foundation Book Award for Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American CuisineOne Plate at a Time. A consultant on Netflix’s Chef’s Table BBQ, Miller’s most recent book is The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas

John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed live in Chapel Hill, NC. Both are members of the Southern Foodways Alliance. John Shelton Reed is author of Barbecue: A Savor the South Cookbook, and he is co-founder of The Campaign for Real Barbecue ( and one of the moving spirits of the Carolina Barbecue Society