Neil ‘Bigmista’ Strawder is one of the good ones. Truly a kind soul that I met over a decade ago and am lucky to call him a friend. He was one of the first people I met in the BBQ world and I recall fondly my visits with him at his various pop-ups around Los Angeles where he paved the way for central Texas-style barbecue in the city(his being central Texas barbecue with a competition twist). He allowed me to constantly pepper him with questions and take photos of him, his team, and his food without wondering what the heck I was doing. Notably too, he was the first to bring pig candy to the masses here and was always pushing creativity with a ton of creative grab and go options.
He was ALSO my very first interview for my YouTube show. At the time I didn’t know what I was doing(and still really don’t after over 200 interviews), but I did have an understanding that I wanted to chat with people within the barbecue and meat world to share their stories and hopefully inspire others to follow in their footsteps or at the very least use their knowledge to assist in what they are doing in life.
Neil no longer lives in Los Angeles, having moved to Oregon, but he is still creating great content. You can see his website HERE to see what he’s been up to.
I plan on featuring, every few days, past interviews that you may have missed.
I also visited his restaurant, Bigmista’s Barbecue & Sammich Shop back in the day where he gave a brief interview.