Mr. Scott’s family moved to South Carolina when Rodney was an infant. They ran a number of businesses including Scott’s Variety Store and Bar-B-Q. Like most family businesses in small town Americana, everybody gets to help out, and by age 11 Rodney was doing just that. They were obviously doing something right. Initially roasting one whole hog each week, they had to increase to 7 or 8 as the demand grew and people came to know how good their product was. This was a direct influence to Rodney naming his own future business ‘Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ’.
While Mr. Scott has certainly built his own legacy, there is no question that the art of barbecue has deep roots and a heritage that was founded by African Americans. In the Carolinas you have the slaves preparing whole animals, a tradition that may have migrated from the Arabic countries through Africa to get to North America. On one level, it doesn’t matter, as long as it tastes good. Knowing history is important, and people such as Rodney Scott, only the second Pitmaster to win a James Beard award (Best Chef Southeast 2018), are creating the new chapters that continue to grow the world of barbecue.
Many folks like to say being profiled in major publications and winning the awards are what has made Rodney’s career what it is today. That is a little unfair. By the age of 17 he was working full time at the n the family business, just over a decade later he was running the operation. That is not flash in the pan stuff, that was the hard daily grind of producing high quality food to fuel your retail business and your customers. Yes, he wanted to move beyond the small town world, and mainly through effort and gaining the hands on knowledge he was able to do accomplish that goal.
Now, a published author of “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ”, sporting three restaurants under his name and associated with the Pihakis Restaurant group, he was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2021
It will be a delight to see what he does next! Wherever the roots of barbecue were originally watered, it came to fruition here in the United States. Knowledgeable, talented and hardworking folks like Rodney Scott have added to it, and helped it continue to grow for the rest of us to enjoy.