Food Network’s latest cooking competition television show revolves around children and barbecue, Kids BBQ Championship, premiering tonight at 7 p.m. 12-year-old Austinite Carter Hull is just one of those competing kids. Eater had the chance to speak to Hull about his favorite barbecue places, meeting hosts Camilla Alves and Food Network star and former NFL player Eddie Jackson, and what he likes to make.
Do you like to cook?
Carter Hull: I’ve been cooking for as long as I could remember. When I’m bored, I would just start cooking. It’s just a hobby for me.
What do you like to make besides barbecue?
I like to do desserts. Barbecue is really fun and I like to do it on the weekends. But sometimes, it’s cold, it’s raining, I can’t barbecue outside. I like sweets and pastries and all that.
What kind of smoked meats?
Chicken and ribs are my comfort foods. There are so many ways you can go with them, it’s like a blank canvas. I also like brisket. I think it’s something we have here in Texas a lot. I like to work with brisket, but I have to go to school, so brisket is something that takes a longer time. So when I’m not in school, I usually go with chicken or ribs.
What’s your special trick when it comes to barbecue?
I would say my special trick is just to be yourself, and just do what you like to do. Do what you’re most comfortable with.
What was your favorite challenge?
In the first episode, we had to do chicken and flavor combinations. So the first episode was really fun, just the other kids’ flavor combinations, see what they like to do, and how everyone has different flavor techniques, but yet they are all similar at the same time.
How was filming the show?
Competing was really fun. Being with all the kids was a blast and getting to see how you can cook in a competition. I usually cook at home for my family, but this is national TV with these big chefs. That was like so cool, and such a great opportunity.
Who were you most excited to meet?
I was really excited to meet host Camila [Alves] and Eddie [Jackson]. They are such big names. In the culinary world, Eddie’s a MasterChef and he has a show, BBQ Blitz, so he’s so incredible to work with. Camila lives in Austin, she’s really nice and really sweet. She has a lot of good cooking styles, and is such a big inspiration in the culinary world. She’s a great motivator.
What’s your favorite Austin barbecue place?
My favorite barbecue place would have to be Franklin Barbecue, Pok-E-Jo’s, and Rudy’s.
Why those three?
Franklin has such a great atmosphere. I woke my family up at six in the morning to just get in line. Rudy’s is a trademark brand in Austin, and it’s just a great place to go to. Pok-E-Jo’s, I’ve liked going there ever since I was little, with the train running around. I live just by the County Line, so I go there a lot on a Friday night, to just hang out and eat their barbecue.
What are your favorite barbecue dishes to eat?
Creamed corn, because it’s on the sweeter side. Potato salad, it’s a great trademark barbecue. Brisket is always fun to eat. There are hearty good barbecue dishes that I love.
What are your favorite Austin restaurants?
My top three favorite restaurants in Austin would have to be Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar, P.F. Chang’s, and Roaring Fork. I think those restaurants are have really great food and they’re so different, yet similar in many ways.
What are your future plans?
I would want to be a chef, open my own restaurant. Cooking, I don’t look at it as a job, it’s more of a hobby. So to be able to become a chef at my own restaurant has been a dream of mine.
What kind of restaurant would you open?
I’m not exactly sure at this moment, but modern restaurant, kind of on the higher end, featuring modern barbecue, and just my style—sweet barbecue—and stuff I like to make.