Written by Clay Coleman (owner of C.H.O.P.)
First of all, I’m not a professional writer, as this blog will surely bare out. And, I hate to call myself a chef, because there are actual culinary school trained chefs here in Tupelo, and I’m not one of those guys either. I’m a smoker. Even though I do occasionally enjoy a nice cigar from the boys at Spring Street, that’s not what I mean. I smoke meat. I come from a family of smokers. We all smoke meat. When the Coleman’s get together, it’s what we do, just as it’s always what we’ve done. It’s a family tradition, so to speak.
My wife and I worked really hard for a really long time for me to be able to buy a Bait Shop here in Tupelo. I’ve been at it for going on eight years now. I love what I do! But deep down, I also have a love of the food that we make. So I continued to work hard and put it all together, and have opened my BBQ Joint. I hesitate to call it a restaurant; it just doesn’t have that personality. The best BBQ is always at a place you would call a “joint” anyway.
My dad hand built the grill I’m smoking on. It’s a work of engineering art. He built several before he landed on this design. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it is an amazing machine. I’m running charcoal, hickory and pecan to fuel it, and it’s seasoned to perfection. Along with rubs and sauces that we’ve developed over the last 40+ years, I’m ready to share with the world what we’ve been doing.
If I can’t put out the quality of smoked meat that I eat at home with my family, I’ll quit. It’s going to cost me a little more, and I definitely have to work a lot harder than my competitors, but I think you’ll like what you get. Come get a plate of love from me. I have my heart in it.
Son of Dennis Coleman
Owner at C.H.O.P. Clay’s House of Pig.