New Interview
Rodney Scott

Rodney Scott: “You’ve got to stay patient”

January 20, 2021

Rodney, as a James Beard award winning chef and one of the foremost whole hog pitmasters in America, what does a typical day at the pit look like for you?

The cooking process at both of my restaurants actually starts with making our own charcoal. We put the wood in the firebox, let it burn down into hot coals, we put the hot coals under the hogs to cook it for 12 hours. Our process is manual, it all has to be done by hand, so we make sure that the barrel stays filled with wood, burning the entire time; and then every 15 to 20 minutes, you have to get more hot coals to put under the hog. So for those 12 hours, you're constantly loading your wood and hot coals to make sure that cooking process continues.

That is an incredible amount of physical labor, in comparison to a home cooking situation which can be mostly prep or inactive cooking time.

We try to make the best of it and have fun with it! If you have somebody with you or a bunch of people with you, it gives you time to hang out and have conversations, you get to have a few drinks, tell a few stories, tell a few lies. A lot of people do it all night long, and they get invaded by neighbors and they hang out and have fun while they do it! In South Carolina, where I’m from, Sunday meals after church were really important. Sometimes meals would start Saturday night, and finish up on Sunday afternoon. Sunday was the day where everybody would come together to one house to eat. If you’re alone doing whole hog, you get to listen to music — which I’m a big fan of. So, you don't get too bored!

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Last week’s Interview
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof: “You get bolder over time”

January 13, 2021

Ms. Imhof, what surprised you most about your first art shows?

One of my first pieces was a boxing duel in a club in the Red Light District of Frankfurt, where there was only one rule: that the fighters wouldn’t stop boxing unless the music stopped, and the music wouldn’t stop until the boxers stopped. And what surprised me was that so many people showed up, A — for fighting, and B — for watching it! (Laughs) Because the show was not situated in a cultural environment, it was not in a theater, it did not feel like I was deliberately doing an art piece.

What did it feel like?

That piece felt like something that was urgently relevant or important, but it didn't feel like I was making art. It was a kind of necessity. Back then I chose to live a little bit outside of Frankfurt in a commune, and I wanted to become an artist, I also wanted to become a fighter — I was doing martial arts training throughout the day — and I was a very young mother. I took every one of these three things very seriously, and it wasn’t without challenges… Having grown up as a queer kid in a German suburb in the eighties and nineties, Frankfurt gave me the possibility to step into some areas that felt without judgement, and with a certain freedom, particularly the Frankfurt club scene and the Red Light District.