In the 2016 edition of Southern Bride and Groom, we introduced you to the area’s best and most talented wedding caterers! Empire Eats works with couples to customize menus and offers an array of items from all of their popular eateries, including The Pit (barbecue restaurant with locations in Raleigh and Durham).
Empire Eats, whipped up the classic Southern barbecue buffet below, including samples of various cuts of BBQ pork, baby back ribs, beef brisket, freshly baked breads, and home-style vegetables and desserts.
Cooking, especially barbecue, has always been a passion for Empire Eats Pitmaster Joel David Dobson.
“Whether it was at a family or friend’s gathering, a tailgate, or a birthday, I just loved to cook – and the longer it took, the better,” Dobson shares.
When Dobson was ready to pursue barbecue and catering as a career, he landed a job at The Pit Authentic Barbecue – a restaurant under Empire Eats’ restaurant group, which also includes Gravy, Sitti and The Raleigh Times. After a few years, Dobson was promoted to Pitmaster of The Pit’s Raleigh and Durham locations, as well as Empire Eats Catering and has now been with the company for five years, catering innumerable weddings and events.
No event is too big or too small for a cooker! It’s a great focal point and a fun way to feed a small group or hundreds of guests.
“You can’t go wrong with a beautiful show cooker with some delicious hog or other pit cooked meat on it,” says Dobson, who practices the art of “pit cooking” over live coals to bring out the best flavors. So, if you’re looking to add some NC flair to your wedding or rehearsal dinner, consider a whole hog BBQ with delicious Southern sides!
Barbecue is just one of the many ways they can personalize a menu for a wedding party or reception. Just look at the tasty variety in their buffet spread below, including homemade biscuits, skillet cornbread, pulled pork cooked overnight, baby back ribs, beef brisket, barbeque chicken, barbeque baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, mac & cheese, and, of course, dessert: banana pudding, carrot cake and pecan pie.
Photos: Neil Boyd Photography