St. Anselm’s Abbey School, Washington, DC

St. Anselm’s is a school in Northeast Washington and no, they do not sell barbecue, worse luck.  They do have a Barbecue Club with 20 or so members and I had the pleasure of speaking to the club.

St. Anselm’s Abbey School is not your typical school.  It only has about 250 students, or an average of  35-40 in each of its seven forms (what we called grades/classes before throwing off the British yoke). Admission is highly selective and it is much more serious than most schools; indeed, it has been called the most challenging private school in the country.  For example, the members of the Barbecue Club don’t just sit around and eat barbecue and argue about the best sauces like any normal barbecue club.  They actually make barbecue (and smoke turkeys, etc.), much as in some college courses.   I was invited to speak by my cousin  Cuatro Johnston (first cousin, once removed).*  Cuatro graduates this year and, apparently enjoying a challenge, is going to West Point.

I spoke to the club about the different styles of barbecue, some of the best barbecue places, and some things to avoid when looking for barbecue.  I also described in some detail how I make the world’s best barbecue and the reason for various techniques.  Being very smart and serious about learning, they paid attention and asked good questions.

At the end of the period most of the students scattered, some to go to their next activity and some to avoid having their picture taken: it was Wacky Wednesday of school spirit week and some preferred not to be photographed in their bizarre outfits.  Cuatro (in the Batman suit) was fearless.

st anselms

It was a lot of fun and a great group of students.

*Cuatro’s mother, Ann Thomas Johnston, is one of the Wilson, NC, Griffins and thus a Bill’s person.   See  His father, Murray Johnston, is from San Antonio, only a modest drive from the City Market in Luling, Texas. He makes a real good brisket.

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