Barbeque Interview with Tom Simon, Raleigh, NC

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We are firing up our virtual barbeque and rolling out another barbeque interview. This time around the ole pit we’d like you to meet Tom Simon, Marketing Manager at Geomagic out of Raleigh, NC

How long have you been barbequing?
– 14 years (first year on the smoker)

Do you cook for:
Family friends

Is there another BBQer that has inspired you or, gone out of their way to help? Who was it and what happened?
My father is a big inspiration.  I used to spend time with him out on the deck, watching his techniques.  My good friend John Leffler has recently emerged as my smoker mentor as well.

What do you like most about cooking barbeque?
– It’s my time to be creative, away from email and all my other distractions.  From preparation to execution, I’m completely relaxed.

Your favorite cut of meat to cook, Why?
– Tough question, but I’d have to say NY Strip.  Great cut of meat, and if well-seasoned and cooked well it’s one of the best things I’ll create on the grill.

Favorite side dish(es)
– grilled corn, green beans with garlic and butter, baked beans, Syracuse Potatoes

Favorite sauce
– I make my own bbq sauce that I’ve perfected over time, but out of the bottle I’d have to say it’s a close tie between Peter Luger’s and Dinosaur BBQ (every variety).

Favorite rub
– The Spice House has a lot of great rubs.  Their King Creole is fantastic.  I’ve got a rub on the way from The Salt Lick that I tried during SXSW this year.  That’s headed straight for the smoker!

Favorite charcoal
Royal Oak Lump Charcoal

Favorite smoking wood
– don’t have one yet, but I will by the end of the season!

A funny story related to barbeque?
– My wife and I lived in a small apartment in Hoboken, NJ.  We got an inexpensive Coleman Camping Grill that we used on the fire escape.  I had to be quick since it was a pretty big fire code violation.  One night I was struggling to get it going, took one last shot, and boom out came the fireball.  Goodbye eyebrows, eyelashes, and at the time I had “Eddie Vedder” hair which got a pretty nice singe as well.
Any advice for people new to barbeque? – Practice and patience.  There are lots of great resources on the web you can use, and some great BBQ books out there as well.  If you’re an iPhone/iPad user, get the Weber app.  Lots of great recipes, techniques and built in timers.  This will help you on your quest to become a BBQ master help you challenge yourself as well! 
Find Tom online in the following places and spaces:
: @tbsimon
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