Broken off from this thread:
My basic argument:
I seek out local BBQ wherever I go, and am more likely to go to an establishment which has been run for generations by the same family than one run by a non-local CIA trained chef who has successfully honed his skills in fine dining
To taste the variety of regional cuisine which an area is particularly known for; one of the best benefits of travelling is trying different food
I know that the CIA trains chefs and those worthy of the degree ought to be able to make excellent dishes in a variety of styles, based on the classic preparations for fine dining. I'm fairly certain that there are countless pitmasters who also know classic fine dining preparations, even if not formally trained at the CIA.
What do you look for when choosing a BBQ establishment? (reviews? style? credentials? painted pig sign on the side of the road? Food Network recommendation? website?)
If you don't like BBQ anywhere, that's fine. This isn't a debate regarding whether it's good or bad or who has the best barbeque or the origins of the word or what is considered authentic--those topics have been discussed at length (generally every 2-3 months).