Atlanta History Center Presents Loaded Menu of Events for Opening Day of Barbecue Nation

Saturday, May 5 - Exhibition Debuts with Pitmaster Talk, Cooking and Smoking Demonstrations, Music, Fun

Barbecue Nation

May is National Barbecue Month, and there is no better place to get fired up about this favorite food than at the opening of the Atlanta History Center's newest exhibition, Barbecue Nation, on Saturday, May 5.

Opening day highlights include a keynote talk by renowned pitmaster Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, and Erika Council of the Southern Soufflé blog preparing desserts and sides in the Smith Family Farm kitchen. Enjoy demonstrations of meat preservation techniques from 1860 and 2018 at the Smith Family Farm Smokehouse. Listen to music by Bluegrass Flashmob before trying crafts and hands-on activities including Make Your Own Spice Rub, food-related scavenger hunts and more.

Schedule of Opening Day Activities on Saturday, May 5:

Program Highlight: Barbecue Nation Opening Keynote with Chris Lilly
11 a.m.
Kennedy Theatre

Learn more about the history of barbecue from renowned pitmaster Chris Lilly. Chris Lilly is the VP and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, a fifth-generation family-owned restaurant in Decatur, Alabama, opened in 1925. He also heads the award-winning Big Bob Gibson Cooking Team, winner of 15 World BBQ Championships in meat categories and a record five Memphis in May Grand Championships. Lilly is author of a 2009 compilation of recipes, stories and expert advice on outdoor cooking, BIG BOB GIBSON'S BBQ BOOK, Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint. His second book, FIRE & SMOKE, A Pitmaster's Secrets was released in 2014.

Program Highlight: BBQ Sides and Desserts with Erika Council
Noon-3 p.m.
Smith Farm Kitchen

Join Erika Council as she prepares desserts and sides, such as cobbler, banana pudding, mac and cheese, potato salad, red Lexington coleslaw and hush puppies, and find out about her North Carolina barbecue roots. Council is a baker, biscuit whisperer and author of the award-winning blog Southern Soufflé. She runs the biscuit breakfast pop up at B's Cracklin BBQ on selected Saturdays.

Smoking Demonstration: 1860 vs. 2018
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Smith Farm Smokehouse

Learn about past vs. present meat preservation and smoking techniques as we smoke bacon and ham in our 1860s smokehouse and on Char-Broil's Vertical Smoker!

Bluegrass Flashmob
10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Exhibition Hallway

Bluegrass Flashmob is not your Grandpappy's bluegrass band, but a darker-haired variety with way more fashion sense. Plenty of harmony and musicianship that one might expect, but with a crowd that knows a little somethin' and has better dance moves. Upbeat bluegrass, folk and Americana at a reasonable volume.

Crafts and Hands-On Activities
Allen Atrium
Make Your Own Spice Rub, interactive foodways scavenger hunts and more.


Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive, 33-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the nation's largest history museums; three historic houses, the 1920s Swan House, the 1860s Smith Family Farm and the 1830s Wood Family Cabin; Goizueta Gardens; the Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; a museum shop and bookstore; a Souper Jenny café; and a BRASH coffee shop. In addition, the History Center welcomes visitors to Margaret Mitchell House at Atlanta History Center Midtown. The Atlanta History Center is open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and noon-5:30 p.m. Sundays (ticket sales until 4:30 p.m. daily).

For more information, please call 404.814.4000 or visit

Howard Pousner
Atlanta History Center

Source: Atlanta History Center


Categories: Cooking and Entertaining, Conventions, Trade Shows, Meetings and Events

Tags: Atlanta History Center, Barbecue, History, National Barbecue Month

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