In 1994, Bob Garner began doing short features about barbecue for UNC-TV's statewide public-television magazine program, North Carolina Now. In 1996, he published North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time, taking readers on a delectable journey across the state in search of the best examples of this distinctive North Carolina delicacy. After Garner produced a one-hour television special based on his book, he quickly became known throughout North Carolina as "the barbecue man." In 2002, he published Bob Garner's Guide to North Carolina Barbecue, which describes the 100 best barbecue restaurants from the mountains to the sea. Bob Garner's Book of Barbecue: North Carolina's Favorite Food preserves the heritage and tradition of a disappearing rural lifestyle while showing how barbecue continues to evolve. Packed full of recipes for barbecue and popular side dishes (above and beyond the traditional hush puppies, slaw, and 'nana pudding); sidebars with useful tips, barbecue-related news, and features; and profiles of past and present influential pit masters and barbecue aficionados, this tome is the definitive guide to anything and everything pertaining to North Carolina's favorite food.
Television personality, restaurant reviewer, speaker, author, pit master, and connoisseur of North Carolina barbecue, Bob Garner is the author of two previous books about barbecue. He has written extensively for Our State magazine, including "Bob Garner Eats," a 10-part series on traditional Southern foods. He has appeared on the Food Network's Paula's Home Cookin' featuring Paula Deen, and Food Nation with Bobby Flay; the Travel Channel's Road Trip; and ABC's Good Morning America. Garner was executive producer and host of the UNC-TV series Carolina Countryside and has been a featured speaker at the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in New York and the Southern Foodway Alliance's annual symposium in Oxford, Mississippi. He speaks frequently to a wide variety of audiences across North Carolina. In 2011, Garner joined with Empire Properties in Raleigh, North Carolina, to work with Ed Mitchell at The Pit to promote barbecue heritage; plans include traveling across the state to host heritage dinners and pig pickings, accompanied by live bluegrass music. Garner divides his time between Burlington and Raleigh, North Carolina.