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Blake Stoker of Blake’s at Southern Milling, in Martin, Tennessee.Blake Stoker fell for Texas barbecue hard and fast. The native of Dresden, Tennessee—two hours and change northeast of Memphis—wasn’t familiar with smoked brisket but learned plenty about beef while growing up on a cattle farm. Stoker’s father, Bobby, gave him Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto for his twentieth birthday, in October 2015. Within a few months, they’d planned a barbecue pilgrimage together to the Austin area, and by summer 2016 Stoker was serving his own smoked brisket back in his hometown from a trailer. At the time in Tennessee, he said, “there was no such thing as brisket, and it took a lot of sample giving.” The pork-loving locals came around, just not quite as quickly as Stoker had.Reflecting on that maiden voyage to…

The post After Seventeen Trips to Texas, This Pitmaster Proves a Worthy Ambassador in Tennessee appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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