How Chef Kevin Bludso is helping young African-American barbecue cooks get into the game
During an exclusive interview with Mashed, Kevin Bludso explained how Kingsford’s new Preserve the Pit scholarship program is working to help the next generation of black barbecue cooks claim their place on the American food scene, and he shared why he was so proud to be part of the effort. “The African-American pitmaster is left out of American barbecue history,” he says. “That’s why I give so many props to Kingsford for bringing this back and letting them know that African Americans played a big part in barbecuing and made barbecuing so popular in America.”
“It’s so hard for African Americans, especially young African Americans, who don’t have the money to start a business, that’s the hardest thing about opening a business. business is to get funding,” he continued. “The first thing you [have to do], you go to the Small Business Association, you go to them and they want to see some type of credit. They want to see some kind of history. They want to see some kind of receipt as to why they should give you that money. And 10 times out of 10, the young African-American will not be funded.”
This program aims to change that, one accepted scholar at a time. “Kingsford steps in and takes this place and helps fund and help these dreams come true and strengthen the future of the African-American mine master,” Bludso says, adding, “I have nothing but love for them… I’m very proud to be part of it.”
You can find out more about the Kingsford Preserve the Pit Scholarship and how to apply here.