The Daily News marvels today at the effort that goes into the Big Apple BBQ Block Party, but it’s actually even more difficult than they believe. The piece looks at three New York pit masters: Blue Smoke’s Kenny Callaghan, Dinosaur’s John Stage, and Hill Country’s Pete Daversa. Mostly, the men talk about how much meat they have to cook — 7,000 pounds of ribs for Callaghan, 3,000 pounds of pulled pork for Dinosaur, etc. But the real hardship lies with the poor souls who have to trek all the way cross-country, set up, live in the park all weekend (with occasional bed and shower breaks), and cook all those massive amounts of meat in borrowed smokers, while fending off the impertinent inquiries of passing foodies. Since all the food money goes to the Madison Square Park Conservancy to buy tulips or whatever, they’re lucky if they make enough selling T-shirts to pay for their gas. (Organizer Danny Meyer pays a fixed travel allowance, $2,500 in recent years, which barely covers costs for most out-of-state vendors.) But the love of barbecue is a mighty thing, and Meyer will never lack for meat martyrs seeking to spread the love of their art to the big city.
You’re going to need a plan for this one.