Dave Grohl, Bon Appétit, 2019

Person of Interest: Dave Grohl

Bon Appetit, June/July 2019

With Backbeat BBQ, Dave Grohl has found his second act.

WHEN I WAS IN NIRVANA and Nevermind came out, all of a sudden I was making a ton of money, which was something I never had. So I bought a beach house in Nags Head, NC, and spent the entire summer of '92 there, eating Carolina pulled pork from this tiny shack. I realized, Oh, this is barbecue: so simple, but sublime and complex.

I BROKE MY LEG FALLING OFF stage during a Foo Fighters show four years ago. When I got off tour, I had nothing to do but mess around with a Big Green Egg that our bassist Nate got me. The first thing I tried was ribs because that's what's on the Chili's commercials. I got the dry rub, hit them with smoke, and served them to my kids. They loved it. I was hooked.

AFTER A FEW MONTHS, I WAS hosting parties for 50 to 75 people. The Egg was no longer big enough, so I got a cabinet smoker, then a Lang trailer rig from Georgia. I was doing brisket and pork butt. At this point, friends were saying, "Dave, this is really good - you should open a restaurant!" And I'm like, "I don't know, that kinda sounds like a job."

WHAT REALLY GOT ME COOKING for a crowd were the Malibu fires. I wanted to cook for everyone who was displaced. I ended up barbecuing hundreds of pounds of meat and bringing care packages to the fire stations, just to say thank you. Those guys were heroes.

THAT’S WHEN I HAD THE IDEA for Backbeat BBQ, my one-man catering company. I didn't want to open a restaurant, but I did want to pull up at a Slayer show or a Harley dealership or a church or the L.A. Food Bank benefit and cook. It's kinda cool that I'm able to do that - and it's fucking fun!

THE PROCESS OF MAKING MUSIC is a lot like cooking for a crowd: You create a recipe as you would a song. You prepare a meal as you would record in a studio. And you serve it as you would perform live. When people come back for seconds, well, that's your encore.

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