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A talented chef swaps fine dining for barbecue – fois gras for briskets – and comes out smelling delicious


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Working out of a converted propane cylinder smoker hitched to his truck, Harris officially launched J Harris Barbecue out of the parking lot of Bolsa Mercado last weekend.

Most recently the top chef at now-shuttered AF+B in Fort Worth, Harris left the restaurant world for a few weeks to deliberate his next move. He’s come back with a pit smoker, a stack of logoed T-shirts and a dark ring of smoke.

Harris tosses a log of post oak into the firebox of his smoker, a converted to propane cylinder now hitched to his truck, then pulls a rope of  handcranked pork sausages out of the smoke box to serve a gathering crowd. In addition to the sausages, Harris and a small crew prepared moist, mahogany-hued briskets, mustardy potato salad, tangy coleslaw, ranch beans, and smoked and turkey breasts.

About 200 people turned out for the pop-up dinner, which Harris says will serve as the foundation for group catering jobs he hopes will keep him booked three or four times a week. Meanwhile, Harris is hunting in Fort Worth and Dallas for a permanent bricks-and-mortar location.

“It’ll take me a few more weeks to really get in the swing of things,” said Harris, tending his relatively new trailer-hitched smoker. “But I expect to hold several more barbecue pop-ups this summer.”

Harris has no website, so the best way to follow him is through this Facebook link.

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