Meet Jonathan Fox: Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q returns to Harvest Wine & Food Festival

Meet the ever-talented Atlanta-based pit master Jonathan Fox of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. You can chat with Jonathan and Justin (and try some of their incredible barbecue) at the Harvest Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting this October! Did we mention that they were the official barbecue of last year’s Super Bowl? 

What’s your most unique trait? We opened up our restaurant in Atlanta in a time before craft barbecue was a trend or a thing. At the time, it was old school Atlanta barbecue restaurants. We came in with a thought of offering our style of barbecue, which was a taste of Texas style barbecue mixed with southern flavors, served fresh to order to a city used to things a certain style. When we opened it was hard at first. People said we should be doing things this way or like another barbecue restaurant, but we stuck to our guns and stayed true to our mission and really made a name for ourselves in Atlanta. 12 years in and we are still sticking to that mission.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? In high school was when I really started diving into cooking. I was working at a bistro in Fort Worth Texas with a French trained chef, and she cooked some really great food and was super approachable and answered questions. I started messing around in my parents’ kitchen and became more and more comfortable with trying things. The main joy I found was cooking for other people like friends and family. When I moved to Atlanta in 1998 from Fort Worth, the one thing I was excited about was hosting parties and cooking for everyone… until I remembered I didn’t know anyone in Atlanta or even had and kitchen essentials! It took a couple of years, but in 2001 we finally had that party for our friends and that party evolved into Fox Bros Bar-B-Q 6 years later!

What is the one ingredient you can’t live without? Salt. Salt is simple yet necessary. It is the key to flavor. It can be used in brines to help lean cuts retain moisture or heighten the flavor of a dish. It is one of the two main seasonings for our brisket and beef short ribs. We season with just salt and black pepper. So Salt is one thing that is a must have.

What’s your favorite wine and food pairing? Favorite wine and food paring... hmm I have really come to love wine over the last few years. I love enjoying a great sparkling rose with oysters, or having French rose and cured meats on the front porch in the summertime. This past summer my wife and I started getting into some Austrian grapes which was a nice discovery. One of my favorites is a nice smooth, fruit forward Sangiovese with a slight chill on it and a simple plate of pasta. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing throughout your career? What I am most proud of is building what we have over the last 12 years. From taking our food that I used to prepare in my tiny kitchen at my old house with no recipes, I just knew how to make it and knew how it tasted. Training a staff to do what we do was a challenge in itself when you have never done that before, but we have a staff today that believes in what we believe in and is passionate about all aspects of Fox Bros from prepping, to cooking, to serving and hosting the guests that walk through our door daily. We are as only as good as our people and I am pretty darn proud of our people! 

Harvest WIne & Food Festival returns to WaterColor October 24-26. You can meet the Fox Brothers and try their famous barbecue during the festival's Grand Tasting on Saturday.

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Published on Tuesday, October 1, 2019