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Meet the
Pitmaster.

Tamez Barbecue is the brainchild of Alejandro Tamez, who cooked here in town at Farm 255, then followed Whitney Otawka to Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island (twice!) and helped open the beloved upscale Mexican restaurant Cinco y Diez.

He also cooked with Sean Brock at Minero in Charleston, SC, in Denmark at Baest and in Mexico City at Quintonil, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, according to some fancy lists. In other words, I feel like this is likely a step up from weekend barbecue.

Tamez says he’ll be focusing on Texas-style “wood smoking on offset smokers, seasoned simply with mostly salt and pepper, focused mostly on technique and execution.” 

- Flagpole

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Alejandro Tamez grew up in Houston and moved to Athens as a child, which he’s always considered home. After some time traveling, he recently settled in Athens and opened Tamez Barbecue, a no-frills BBQ spot on West Broad Street, in October 2020. There, he serves food that combines his Texas roots and Mexican heritage with menu items like wood-fired meats, breakfast burritos, and pozole.

While his mother and grandmother’s pozole never included barbecued meats, Tamez smokes briskets on a wood-fired, reverse-flow smoker that fits up to 20 whole slabs of meat. “The biggest difference is phase one of smoking the pork shoulder. We didn’t do it that way back in 2014. Phase one was braising the meat as opposed to smoking it for 12 hours,” he says.

While he used to make the dish exclusively in the fall or winter and only when he had extra pork on hand to reduce waste, it’s become a signature dish served year-round.

“One of the things that attracted me to cooking and food in the first place is that it is cultural,” says Tamez. “It’s important to keep your traditions and culture, because if you don’t have [them], then there’s nothing very special about you.”

- Plate Magazine

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