Note: Thanks for Bob Sims at Meat + Poultry magazine for the wonderful article
Sometime in the mid-2000s, Jeff Savell began to leaf through the only book at a Harry and David’s while he and his wife, Jackie, were shopping. The book, “Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook,” by Robb Walsh, interested Savell and he bought it. “I read through it and enjoyed the recipes, as well as the stories that Robb wrote,” Savell says. “I didn’t think anything about it, put it on a shelf and kind of went on.”
What Savell, University Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor, E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chairholder, and the leader of the Meat Science Section in the Dept. of Animal Science at Texas A&M Univ. didn’t know at the time, was that the book would start a chain of events that has brought Texas barbecue and Texas A&M barbecue educational offerings to its current celebrity status.
In 2009, Texas A&M University challenged its professors to come up with small section freshmen classes to help the newcomers acclimate to college life. Savell remembered a 2008 small section class on baseball and thought if baseball fit in, so too could a class on barbecue. “And then I thought, ‘we’ve got the perfect book,’” he says, remembering “Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook” that had been gathering dust on his bookshelf.He and his colleagues put the class together and got it approved. Since then, Texas Barbecue (ANSC 117) has become one of the most popular freshmen classes on campus.
Two months after the approval of the class, Savell received a serendipitous and unsolicited email from author Robb Walsh looking for information about fajitas. “I sent him a note back that said, ‘I know who you are, I’ve got your book, we’re going to use it for this class,’” he says. Walsh was invited to campus to speak with faculty about fajitas, but also to speak to the Texas Barbecue class about his book.
Source and the rest of the article: Texas Barbecue at the head of the class | MEAT+POULTRY