Mr. Phil Schenk, the former pit master at the legendary Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge, passed on August 5, 2018. He was 74.
If you haven’t been there, you may remember Red Bridges as the winner of the Garden and Gun 32-“team” barbecue bracket (back during the NCAA basketball tournament season) in 2015. They defeated SAW’s in the final, and the Skylight Inn and Lexington #1, among others, along the way. It’s a great place with a long tradition of outstanding barbecue. I had one of my best meals there.
Mr. Schenk was thrust into the pit master position after working as an assistant for only three days. His predecessor suddenly left, and he rose to the occasion, eventually spending 30 years cooking 200 pork shoulders a week. That’s a lot of hard work in the smoke and heat, a lot of time and close attention. Mr. Schenk was a master craftsman, an artist, and played a big part in building the Red Bridges tradition. Pit masters deserve more attention, and I’m happy to celebrate Mr. Schenk.
In 2012, Mr. Schenk’s picture went up on the North Carolina Barbecue Society Wall of Fame.
You can read more about Mr. Schenk here. He deserves your admiration and a prayer or two.