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The event featured wild game bites, Treaty Oak cocktails, live music, and great company.

Dozier’s BBQ Pitmaster, Jim Buchanan, gathered some of the best talent Houston has to offer to raise money for the Fulshear Police Foundation. The “Pitmaster Party: Wild Game Edition” that happened on Saturday, October 9th sold roughly 275 tickets and raised $10,000 for the foundation. The event also featured some of the barbecue family’s favorite vendors Boerne Brand Hot Sauce and Treaty Oak Distilling.

Watch a video of the event here:

Buchanan challenged the pitmasters attending to use wild game in their dishes and be as creative as possible. From the menu bellow, you can see that they defiantly took the challenge to heart.

From John Brotherton of Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville: Poussin & Python Sausage & Turtle & Rabbit Gumbo Boudin, served with their signature sauce line ‘Burnt Ends’. For those wondering, “did he just say ‘poussin’?”, yes… a poussin is a 28 day old chicken… get your mind out of the gutter.

Patrick Feges of Feges BBQ in Houston: Smoked Duck Gumbo, served over rice with everything but the kitchen sink mixed in. Talking to Patrick, anything smoked in his restaurant was added to the gumbo; sausage, boar, brisket.

Quy Hoang & Robin Wong of Blood Bros. BBQ in Bellaire: Tea Smoked Quail, with a sweet Thai chili glaze. Usually one to go for the pain with the spice level, Quy’s Thai chili glaze was perfectly balanced between heat and sweet. I really do hope to see this glaze on some smoked wings soon… hint, hint Blood Bros.!

Brett Jackson of Brett’s Barbecue Shop in Katy: Smoked Lamb Stuffed Jalapenos, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with goat cheese. Sporting his “Smoke Beef Not Meth” shirt, Brett defiantly was smoking the good stuff with this bite.

Jim Buchanan of Dozier’s BBQ in Fulshear: Smoke Duck Pastrami, with a cherry mostarda. Not only was Jim helping to put this dish together, but he was also assisted by his wife Colleen, Anthony McDonald (Dozier’s and AM Barbecue), and BBQ photographer Robert Lerma. A fun dish put together by a fun crew.

Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ in Richmond: Venison Chili with Chicharrón, thickened with a demi-glace. I used the chicharrón to spoon the chili in giant heaps to get the mixture of crunch, richness, and salty-ness from this dish.

Scott Moore and Michelle Holland of Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue in Tomball: Smoked Nilgai Sliders. Probably the crowd favorite and also the one dish that had everyone Googling ‘Nilgai’. I’ll save you the trouble, it’s a large Asian antelope, and it is delicious!

Russell Roegels of Roegels Barbecue Co. in Houston: Drunken Boar Sausage, served with a homemade mustard. Infused with Shiner, smoked to perfection, and not half as ‘gamey’ as you would expect from boar.

With the live music, great weather, and cold drinks Dozier’s and those participating put on a great party for a great cause.

Season 2 of BBQ Brawl just aired its season finale after 10 episodes of competition, smoke, and barbecue love. The twelve contestants on this season ranged from seasoned pit masters, competition cookers, food truck owners, and former Chopped Champions. The cuisines featured within each barbecue dish was just as varied, with Christopher Prieto (Prime Barbecue in Knightdale) utilizing Puerto Rican, Peruvian, and South American influences in his dishes, while Brittany Bo Baker (Bubba’s Q Food Trucks) utilized Caribbean flavors to separate her que from the competition.

Who I really want to talk about is Chef Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ. Being a Houston native, I have frequented Harlem Road more times than one can reasonably mention without embarrassment. I use “chef” as opposed to “pit master” to describe Ara because as you watch Season 2 of BBQ Brawl, you’ll notice the huge range of cooking styles by the formal Wolfgang Puck Executive Chef. Dubbed the “Silver Fox of BBQ” by judges Rodney Scott, Brooke Williamson, and Carson Kressley, you won’t catch Ara without his signature black cowboy hat, dark chef coat, and perfectly groomed handlebar mustache.

Ara’s first dish in the ‘Introduce your ‘Cue’ episode was a white onion marinated smoked lamb chop seasoned with sumac that he features as a special at his restaurant. I think Ara’s cooking was to show that if it “walks, flies, or swims” he can break it down and cook it. Even though Ara was picked second from last in the first round of Episode 1, the man in black held his ground throughout the 10-episode season keeping Team Michael in the game the whole way.

Other notable dishes from Ara include his smoked octopus, which is poached in red wine and finished on the grill, a cold smoked tuna sashimi, glazed with a Japanese BBQ sauce and crusted with togarashi seasoning, and his smoked beef rib which Symon claimed was better than any beef rib he had tried or even cooked himself.

The variety that Ara displayed throughout the competition reflects the expanding boundaries of American Barbecue. In Houston we have seen a huge push into the “fusion” of different cuisines into traditional Texas BBQ, most notability Khoi BBQ and their Vietnamese dishes like smoked brisket pho. Ara truly introduced an audience to the fine dining side of smoke through versatility and craftmanship.

SPOILER WARNING, we are going to talk about who won!

Ara would eventually place in the top three of the group of 12, with Erica Blaire Roby (Blue Smoke Blaire) taking home the coveted title of “Master of ‘Cue’, but that doesn’t change the fact Ara remains a staple in the Texas BBQ community. There isn’t a meeting I have with someone in the food service industry where Ara’s name isn’t mentioned; whether he gave the individual some helpful advice, made a connection for an inspiring chef to further their career or ambitions, or that he simply made a guest an Armenian coffee because they looked like they needed a pick me up.

Be sure to watch Season 2 of BBQ Brawl to get your eyes on some amazing que, and then head to Harlem Road Texas BBQ to get your belly full!

Harlem Road Texas BBQ

9823 Harlem Rd, Richmond, TX 77407

Wednesday 11AM–8PM

Thursday 11AM–8PM

Friday 11AM–8PM

Saturday 11AM–6PM

Sunday 11AM–6PM

Images for this post are from (who did an incredible write up on several episodes of BBQ Brawl, and from

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