Sep 26, 2022 - News

Local Limelight: Barbecue expert and author John Shelton Reed

Photo illustration of John Shelton Reed in the center of a Polaroid photo under a green spotlight.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo courtesy of John Shelton Reed

Welcome back to "Local Limelight," where we talk to some of the Triangle's most influential and interesting people.

Next up is John Shelton Reed, a former UNC-Chapel Hill professor and co-author of "Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue" and author of "On Barbecue".

๐Ÿธ His favorite place to eat: Hawthorne & Wood in Chapel Hill.

  • He recommends their General Tso's cauliflower.

โ›ช๏ธ What the Triangle is missing: An Anglo-Catholic church.

๐Ÿ“– Last great book he read: "Up in the Old Hotel," by Joseph Mitchell.

๐Ÿˆ Family pets: Two cats, named Harley and Abby.

๐ŸŸฉ First thing he reads in the morning: Wordle, then email newsletters.

๐Ÿงณ Go-to long weekend spot: Brooklyn. Or the mountains.

What brought him to the Triangle: A teaching job at UNC. He came here in 1969 and has been here ever since.

  • "The best sociology department in the south โ€”ย one of the best in the country still โ€”ย is in Chapel Hill," Reed said.

๐Ÿ”ฎ What he's looking forward to: Reed, who is 80, said his life expectancy 88 years.

  • "I'm looking forward to making the most of those eight years," Reed said.
  • Plus, he's looking forward to his next trip to England.

๐Ÿ”Œ How he unplugs: Like most of us, he doesn't really.

  • Reed's answer was a relatable one: He brings his laptop into bed and answers emails until he falls asleep.
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