On Sunday, Oct. 6, TrueSouth rolls into Beaumont, Texas, a land of lush swamps and smoke-belching refineries. Where the first Texas wells spit oil skyward, where man and nature have locked into a two-century battle. Where two beloved joints fight to keep alive a barbecue tradition, built on beef links that gush with grease, and pork neck bones that locals gnaw like ribs. The show airs at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday on SEC Network.
- George Gerard, second-generation proprietor of Gerard’s Bar-B-Que, pride of the Tripe city neighborhood
- Robert Patillo, proprietor of Patillo’s Bar-B-Q, the oldest family owned barbecue restaurant in Texas and the oldest black-owned barbecue joint in the state
- John Alexander, the Beaumont-born artist whose work is included in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and many other public and private collections worldwide
- Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor of Texas Monthly
A decade back, barbecue hounds worried that the last pitmaster would soon step out of the smoke. That didn’t happen. Once a Southern institution, barbecue has become an American obsession. In that transformation, Texas brisket became mainstreamed, and so did stories of German butcher cooks. In the process, some of the old styles, developed by African American pitmasters, began to disappear. George Gerard of Gerard’s Bar-B-Que, in business since 1975, learned to smoke pork neck bones from his father. Robert Patillo of Patillo’s Bar-B-Q, in business since 1912, learned to stuff sausages, that some call grease balls, from his grandfather. This is a story about a scrappy one-time oil boomtown, where cooks make the most of scraps. This is a story about the oppressiveness of brisket and how popular narratives have obscured two Gulf Coast dishes that manage to hang on.
Advance press screeners of TrueSouth: Beaumont are available upon request: [email protected]
TrueSouth is a limited series on Southern food and culture, airing monthly on SEC Network. Three-time James Beard Award winner John T. Edge writes and hosts the show, which is executive produced by New York Times best-selling author, ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson.
The series, in its second season, revolves around two Southern bedrock spots that locals cherish. From those bases, the show explores cities and their environs, getting to know good people through good food. This season’s featured cities are New Orleans, La., Beaumont, Texas, Hodgenville, Ky. and Memphis, Tenn.
Music has played an integral role in the formation of the show’s storytelling, as can be heard on the TrueSouth playlist on Spotify. The playlist shares the full soundtrack and score of seasons one and two of TrueSouth.
About SEC Network
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN launched SEC Network on August 14, 2014. The network televises over 45 SEC football games, 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and other events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming includes in-depth analysis and storytelling in studio shows such as SEC Nation, Thinking Out Loud and Rally Cap, daily news and information with SEC Now, original content such as Marty & McGee, TrueSouth, SEC Storied and SEC Inside, and more. Hundreds of additional live events are available for streaming exclusively on SEC Network’s digital companion, SEC Network+, via the ESPN App and SECNetwork.com. The network is also available in more than 50 countries throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa via ESPN Player, ESPN’s sports streaming service in the region.