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All About Us

Our Barbecue

Will is an old fashioned Pitmaster who believes good barbecue is cooked with a hardwood fire. While his family hails from Kentucky and Illinois, Will specializes in Texas Brisket, Kansas City Burnt Ends, and South Carolina Pulled Pork. Will also loves to experiment, and he's found some items not traditionally associated with any established regional style, like Bacon Burnt Ends, Beef Cheeks and even Impossible Meat make for really good barbecue.

We don't believe in short cuts. Each piece of meat is hand trimmed, and each piece of wood for the fire is selected for perfect seasoning. Each spice mixture meticulously blended, and each batch of sauce is crafted for the perfect finishing touch.

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Our Pitmaster

Will fell in love with Barbecue at Joe’s Kansas City Bar-b-que, when he first tried Kansas City Burnt Ends on a road trip to Kansas City, and he knew he would dream of those sticky sweet meat morsels for months to come. When he returned home to the upper Midwest, with nary a burnt end to be found, Will bought his first smoker, determined to learn to make them himself.

 

Will is a homegrown barbecue Pitmaster who learned the trade from watching experts, experimentation, and endless hours at the pit. From Aaron Franklin's online class to Chud's BBQ YouTube channel - no source of barbecue expertise was safe from Will's insatiable pursuit. Will invested thousands of hours at the pit trying out the advice he learned from those experts - tweaking and combining techniques until he perfected a process of his own. For years, only his friends and family were the lucky recipients of his delicious talents - until he was finally convinced to bring his barbecue to the public, and Whiskey Hotel Barbecue was born.

 

Will believes that barbecue is a part of America's hard fought cultural heritage and should be celebrated. As a former history teacher, Will knows that the roots of American Barbecue are humble, and the various styles of barbecue draw from the fabric of our American tapestry: from Indigenous, African, and European cooking methods.  Once, barbecue was the answer to making otherwise undesirable cuts of meat easy to digest and delicious to eat - often the only meat available for working class and enslaved people. In today's America, barbecue is a delicacy, but one that celebrates how American ingenuity can make the most out of anything. If you have the chance to chat with Will at his pit, he'll always be happy to talk shop.

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Our Name

Will was an infantryman in the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army for seven years and served 2 tours in Iraq. After he was medically retired, he again chose to serve his community by becoming a teacher and coach in one of Chicago's underserved communities, all while nurturing his passion for barbecue.

 

As many veterans can tell you, time in the military stays with you throughout your life, both in the bonds formed with those you served with and the ways in which you look at the world. The phonetic alphabet is often used by the military, and our name - Whiskey Hotel - is the phonetic representation of Will's initials ~ WH. In this small way, Will has chosen to continue his connection to his past years of service, and as a daily reminder of his good fortune to be able to serve in a new way, by bringing traditional American barbecue to you.

 

Will is also very fond of Kentucky Bourbon, so he is grateful his parents named him William and not Frank!

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