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Chef James L. Eatmon, Jr

Pitmaster
King of Kings BBQ - Food Truck

Bio | Interview | Featured Recipes

Bio

I have always had a passion for grilled meat. As a kid, I would see my father going out to the grill with big pans of meat and I could not wait until it was my turn. As I grew older, we began to compete with one another. Needless to say, I never won. Unfortunately, my father passed in 2003, in which that time I stopped grilling. Time went by, and my wife took me to a cook-out and she was talking about how good the food was. I said it was horrible. She asked me if I could do better and I cooked her some ribs. She said they were the best she ever had. After that time, we would have cookouts of our own and our guests would always compliment my food. One day my Pastor was over and said we needed to have a fundraiser for our church. We decided on a BBQ contest. That was the first of many contests I began to win. During this time, I was a professional truck driver and CDL instructor. My wife and I sat down and seriously considered my leaving my current career and pursuing my passion for owning my own food truck. After much prayer and confirmation from God, here we are.

Interview

Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: The smile that I see on my customers' faces when they taste MY BBQ and tell me it’s the best BBQ they have ever had!
 

Q: Describe your cooking style.
A: I cook food to my liking going the extra mile to only purchase the highest quality of meats, seasonings, and wood. I have basically introduced what I like to our customers and they loved it. I call it "Eatmo Style"- Our motto is "One Taste Will Make You Want to Eatmo!"
 

Q: What is your favorite Chefwear item and why?
A: No doubt about it, it has the be the Classic Cotton Bib Apron in the Special Edition "Prime Cuts" Pattern. It’s the perfect apron to wear behind the grill!
 

Q: If you could choose any chef (dead or alive) to spend the day with, who would it be? Why?
A: My father, James L. Eatmon, Sr. He was a master of spices and seasonings. He knew just how to pair different seasonings and woods with various meats. It was perfect every time.  Alive - I would love to showdown with Bobby Flay on a BBQ grill!
 

Q: What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A: My therma pen which is used to accurately gage the temperature of meat within 3 seconds.
 

Q: What do you do to stay educated about new trends in the restaurant industry?
A: I do a lot of internet reading and I follow several pitmasters/food truck social media outlets. Also, I experiment a lot with new ways to cook our food. Some of the items we have perfected are smoked and fried whole chickens, lamb burgers, chicken sausages, smoked salmon, fried catfish filets (we make our own cornmeal), and turkey ribs. If we do not have turkey ribs to sell, we may as well not come out on the street!
 

Q: What is your favorite meal?
A: My beef plate ribs - they are the absolute most tender and tastiest pieces of beef you could ever eat.
 

Q: Please list awards and accolades.
A: Winner of Memphis Area Transit Authority's BBQ contest - 1st place in ribs, winner of Mt. Zion Baptist Church BBQ Contest, and Finalist in Memphis' Best in Black Awards - Best Food Truck and Best BBQ.
 

Q: Which accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
A: Starting a business from nothing and watching it grow through loyal customer support. We started a food truck from ground up and now we have one of the most recognizable brands in the Memphis area.
 

Q: What was the best advice you ever received in your career?
A: My father told me this about two weeks before he died… if I wanted to be happy, search myself and find something I would do for free and then find a way I could get paid to do it.
 

Q: What advice would you give to a home enthusiast?
A: Everyone will tell you that your food is good as long as it's free. The question is - will those same people buy it?
 

Featured Recipes:

Pitmaster-James-Eatmon-Recipe-Beef-Brisket

Beef Brisket

 
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