PICNIC + Green Button Farm invite you to the inaugural North Carolina Barbecue Revival
a three-day weekend to celebrate & honor NC’s most iconic food – wood-smoked, whole hog barbecue.

Join us for classes, discussions, feasts and pig pickins’ surrounding whole hog barbecue and heritage breed pigs,
with some of the most accomplished pitmasters, chefs, and BBQ experts in the business.

Friday evening, join us for a special, intimate dinner in the Butler’s home to kick off our 3-day weekend celebrating NC barbecue.

Saturday, we’re hosting morning & afternoon classes, a seated lunch, a farm walk in the late afternoon, & a progressive dinner.

Sunday, our 3-day weekend culminates in BBQ Church and our pig pickin’ & picnic.

“Whole hog barbecue is one of our most important foodways in North Carolina,” offered Barbecue Man Wyatt Dickson of PICNIC who explained that the mission of the NC Barbecue Revival is to celebrate whole hog barbecue and bring recognition to its past, present and future, as well as to the importance of high quality, sustainably raised hogs.

Hosts + Partners:

A Barbecue Man, Chef, Farmers & Conservationists

The Idea: Just before dusk, on a Sunday evening, a hog farmer, a barbecue man and a chef reminisced about the rich heritage of NC Barbecue — stories of past generations cooking whole hog for a family gathering or for a rival football game on a Saturday afternoon. Ryan, Wyatt and Ben realized someone had to take up the torch and continue to share the sacred knowledge that makes NC barbecue such a coveted tradition. And as the moon rose over Green Button Farm, they had to answer the calling.

Wyatt Dickson – A former lawyer turned barbecue man, the owner of Pig Whistle Whole Hog Barbecue and the chief pig cooker and partner at PICNIC Durham.

Ben Adams – From NYC finance, Adams took a different direction into the culinary field, working all over the country in establishments like McCrady’s in Charleston and as the executive chef at Piedmont in Durham before becoming a chef and partner at PICNIC.

Ryan and Alicia Butler, Owners of Green Button Farm – Returning to N.C. from Baltimore ten years ago, Ryan and Alicia share the farm and their mid century modern farmhouse with their three fantastic little boys: Jackson (11), Gates (9), and Finn (7), Alicia’s mother Catherine, and two Great Danes, Temple Grandin and Cash. Green Button Farm is truly where the wild things grow. Some people in Baltimore still think they live on a tiny Caribbean island, but no – Bahama holds a better version of paradise for this crew.

Green Button Farm - The mission of Green Button Farm is to be a year-round local source for high quality produce and pasture raised poultry, pork and beef grown at our farm using sustainable and responsible principles that result in safe, chemical and antibiotic-free food and a healthy environment. We provide an alternative shopping experience and educate our community about the benefits of eating locally grown foods during all four seasons. We seek to achieve these goals for the community while providing fulfilling and sustainable careers for the farmers.  We believe through the profits of our Community Supported Agriculture, we can evolve into an Agriculturally Supported Community.

Triangle Land Conservancy - Proceeds will benefit the Triangle Land Conservancy, whose mission is to create a healthier and more vibrant Triangle region by safeguarding clean water, protecting natural habitats, supporting local farms and food, and connecting people with nature through land protection and stewardship, catalyzing community action, and collaboration.

Now that you know a little about the hosts and partners involved in putting together this storied event, click here to check out what you have a chance to bear witness to during our packed schedule of events. And trust us, there’s going to be some succulent hog, fine fixin's and lots of sweet sumpin's to sink your teeth into. And lots of good ol’ storytelling!


The Talent

Barbecue men, Chefs, and Farmers at the top of their professions, all gathering for a few days for an opportunity to celebrate and prepare succulent barbecue, fine fixin's, and sweet sumpin's that make NC food heritage so unique.


Justin Burdett

Justin Burdett brings an impressive culinary career to his kitchen at Local Provisions. As chef-owner, Burdett successfully fuses his passion for local ingredients and unexpected flavor profiles. The result is creative, modern cuisine that is still reflective of the area’s culinary history and culture.

Born and raised in Snellville, Georgia, Burdett began cooking with his grandmother at an early age. Taking his first official industry job at only 14 years old at Glen’s BBQ in Snellville, he began as a dishwasher and worked his way to the pit. Following graduation, Burdett moved to Athens, Georgia, working in corporate kitchens. Craving more culinary experience and a more creative menu, Burdett approached chef Hugh Acheson at his celebrated Southern restaurant 5 & 10, offering his services for free in exchange for experience. Acheson took a chance on Burdett, awarding him with the position that began his formal culinary career in 2005. 

In 2006, Burdett relocated to Asheville, N.C., where he worked his way up the ranks at various local restaurants, including The Market Place, Table Restaurant, The Richmond Hill Inn, where he expanded the fine cuisine tasting menu, and Nova, where he held an executive chef position. In 2009, Burdett accepted an opening position at Miller Union under executive chef Steven Satterfield and served as the chef de cuisine for nearly three years. 

Craving the mountains of North Carolina, Burdett and his wife took over Ruka’s Table in Highlands, North Carolina in 2012, where he received national attention for his modern work with local ingredients and flavor profiles. Among his many accolades, Burdett received a Carolina Rising Star award from StarChefs in 2013, was named by Food & Wine magazine as one of the top ten chefs in the Southeast in 2013 and 2014 and was highlighted in 2014 as one of Plate’s Top 30 Chefs to Watch. Most recently, Local Provisions was recognized by Eater as one of the 21 Best New Restaurants in America 2016. 

When he’s not in the kitchen, Burdett enjoys spending time with his wife, Brooke, his daughter, Olive, and their four dogs. He also enjoys reading about culinary history and collecting a broad range of cookbooks.

phoebe lawless

Phoebe Lawless is the owner and chef of Durham, North Carolina’s Scratch Bakery.

During her time as baker and pastry chef at Durham, North Carolina’s Magnolia Grill under the guidance of Ben and Karen Barker, Phoebe developed an understanding of the delicate balance of texture, temperature, and flavor necessary to produce complex desserts and good, delicious food, and she conveys this same respect in her work today. The menus at Scratch are a reflection of her love of local sourcing and classic southern technique.

Throughout her career Phoebe has been committed to the promotion of sustainable food systems, and the benefits of being connected to the foods we eat. She has been an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, Chefs Collaborative, and SlowFood USA, and is former co-chair of the Slow Food Triangle chapter. Phoebe also teaches cooking and baking demonstration classes in pastry and the craft of piemaking at her bakery.

Her pies and Community Supported Pie program have been featured in Bon Apetit, Gourmet, Food and Wine, Saveur, the New York Times, USA Today, and North Carolina’s Our State magazines. Phoebe’s recipes have been published in Saveur, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and featured on the TODAY Show and North Carolina Public Radio.

Phoebe was a 2013 and 2014 semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef award, and in 2015 and 2016 for Outstanding Baker.


steven goff

Chef Steven Goff previously traveled the United States in his youth as a punk rocker on trains. Kitchens have always provided a needed and interesting opportunity for work and in the past decade Chef Goff has capitalized on this opportunity as a self-made chef.

Landing in Asheville in 2004, Steve immersed himself into the food scene at notable Asheville restaurants where he was the sous chef at the well known Zambra restaurant in Asheville before opening the King James Public House as Chef and Co-owner, which gained high praise in the Asheville dining scene.

In 2015, Steve relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina to assist as a team member in the opening of Standard Foods as head butcher. Steve Goff began his work with The Blind Pig in the Spring of 2014 with the supper concept 'Dark Room' as a fundraiser for the Industries for the Blind in NC. Since then he has been instrumental in his work with The Blind Pig in creating impressionable cuisine experiences with a backbone of philanthropic work to the local community. 

robert moss

Robert F. Moss is a food and drinks writer and culinary historian living in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the Contributing Barbecue Editor for Southern Living and the Southern Food Correspondent for Serious Eats. He is a frequent contributor to the Charleston City Paperand his work has also appeared in publications such as Garden & Gun Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Charlotte ObserverTexas Monthly, the Columbia Free Times, and Early American Life.

Robert's latest book is Southern Spirits: Four Hundred Years of Drinking in the American South, With Recipeswhich was published by Ten Speed Press on April 12, 2016.

Robert is also the author of Barbecue: The History of an American Institution (2010), the first full-length history of barbecue in the United States; Going Lardcore: Adventures in New Southern Dining (2012), a collection of essays about dining in the modern South; and The Barbecue Lover's Carolinas (2015), a guide to the restaurants, recipes, and traditions of barbecue in North and South Carolina.

A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Robert attended Furman University and received a Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina.


bryan furman

Head BBQ Pitmaster, Bryan Furman is livin’ the dream having left his day job as a welder to pursue cooking his signature-style pit smoked barbeque, chicken and ribs.  

What began as a fun idea to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday in 2010 by roasting a hog for family and friends, turned into catering and filling order requests from his co-workers. One night around their family’s kitchen table in North Carolina, Bryan remembers seeking his dad’s opinion on the idea of opening up his own place.  His dad liked his enthusiasm but challenged Bryan to think of what might make his ‘barbecue joint’ stand out. Bryan’s reply was to raise local Heritage hogs and to make his own side dishes using locally-sourced, fresh produce with a blend of unique ingredients.

B’s Cracklin’ BBQ’s first building on Coffee Bluff Villa Road opened in 2014 but tragically burned in June of 2015.  The timing could not have been worse as they had just been named to a Top 50 list of The South’s Best BBQ by Southern Living magazine.  B’s had also been featured in the June/July 2015 issue of Garden & Gun magazine’s story on ‘Five Barbecue Joints You Can’t Miss’.

Now back in the business and humbled by their experience, Bryan and his wife, Nikki, extend heartfelt thanks to some amazingly generous people that have helped to make their return possible.

tyson ho

Hi! I’M TYSON, I smoke hogs for a living.

I’m on a mission to bring traditional North Carolina BBQ to New York City. This involves slow smoking the entire pig for almost an entire day until she’s meltingly tender and full of flavor. We then mix all the parts of the pig together so that you get a taste of all the different parts of the animal in every bite.

After spending the entire 2013 summer running Craft Beer + Music + BBQ events under the banner of the Hog Days of Summer we hunkered down and got our permanent location in Bushwick Brooklyn open the Summer of 2014 – Arrogant Swine.


elliott moss

Co-owner and Pitmaster - Buxton Hall. Growing up in Florence, South Carolina, where mom and pop 'cue joints reigned supreme, Moss gained a deep appreciation of the art of smoke. His roots for southern food and culture run deep as he spent his younger years playing with pigs and chickens on his grandparents' family farm.

He has vivid memories of his grandfather setting up block pits to feed the neighborhood whole hog on special occasions, while helping his grandmother stir kettles of chicken bog and his father saucing barbecued chicken and hogs on the family smoker. It's no wonder this son of the South has vinegar mop running in his veins. 

Moss moved to Asheville in 2007 to help open The Admiral Restaurant, garnering acclaim throughout the South for his creative & eclectic fare. After being nominated for Best Chef Southeast through the James Beard Foundation in 2013, he left to chase his barbecue dreams.

sam jones

Sam Jones is the third generation to cook traditional whole hog barbecue at Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. Sam’s family opened Skylight Inn in 1947 with a very humble beginning. Since then they have always stayed true to what has made them what they are, a standard bearer for wood cooked eastern NC style barbecue.

Skylight Inn, as well as Sam, have been mentioned among the greats when it comes to legendary barbecue joints and pitmasters in many publications, and as well on several TV shows. In 2012 Sam was named as one of the “Top Ten Pitmasters in South” by Southern Living. The greatest honor was bestowed upon Skylight Inn in 2003 when the Jones family were honored with a James Beard award for “Americas Classics”.

In the fall of 2015 Sam Jones BBQ opened in Winterville, NC. It’s a new restaurant but with all the indicators of traditional BBQ. From the smell of the smokehouse to the freshness of the food, you’ll know this is the future of eastern NC BBQ. 

Sam is passionate about barbecue, and what it means in his family. More importantly, Sam is known for being an honest, hard working guy who loves people, loves his hometown, and loves what he does.


john lewis

Growing up in El Paso, TX, John moved to Austin at 18 to start his culinary career. Around this time, John’s parents gave him a New Braunfels smoker for his birthday, and he started dabbling in Austin’s longstanding tradition of the backyard barbecue. He was soon getting creative with both his smokers and his meats, taking liberties with the design and construction to try and yield a better result. After a stint in Denver honing his craft in the competition barbecue circuit, John returned to Austin in 2010 to help his friend Aaron Franklin as he opened Franklin Barbecue. While there, John pioneered the flavor profile that helped put Austin barbecue on the map. 

John partnered with LeAnn Mueller to open the much-beloved La Barbecue in Austin in 2012. He quickly became the rising star of Austin’s barbecue scene and in just a few short months after opening, La Barbecue made Texas Monthly’s “Top 50 List” and was voted the “Best BBQ in Austin” by the Austin American Statesman. 

In March 2015, John packed up his smokers and moved to Charleston to introduce the Holy City to the great world of Texas barbecue. He opened John Lewis Barbecue earlier this year.

rien fertel

Rien Fertel is a Louisiana-born-and-based writer, historian, and teacher who grew up washing dishes and busing tables in his family’s chain of restaurants. While earning a PhD in history, he spent four years on the road documenting barbecue for the Southern Foodways Alliance, which became the basis for his second book, The One True Barbecue. His work has appeared in dozens of print and online publications and in 2016 he was a James Beard Journalism Award nominee. He lives and teaches in New Orleans.


Inez ribustello

Inez Ribustello got her start in the world of food and wine after moving to New York City from her home state of North Carolina. Though she grew up in the small town of Tarboro, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 with a degree in journalism and mass communications, her dream was to pursue a career in cooking. She chose New York’s Institute of Culinary Education to get her started. There, she began to learn about wine, which inspired her to take a job at Best Cellars, the groundbreaking, mid-priced wine store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Her wine career took a huge leap forward when she became an Assistant Cellar Master at the renowned World Trade Center restaurant Windows on the World.  In a very short time, she was promoted to Beverage Director, putting her in the position as wine buyer for the largest grossing restaurant in North America.  It was here where she met her now-husband, Stephen.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 impacted her both personally and professionally. Having lost friends, colleagues and her job in the bombing, she had to face her future. She chose to throw herself into her work and took the position of Beverage Director for Blue Fin Restaurant in the W Hotel-Times Square. At Blue Fin, she created a 500-label wine list, including more than 50 wines by the glass, and developed a cocktail list that received rave reviews from New York magazine.

Having conquered New York, her next move was to return to her hometown with her fiancé. Together they decided to open their own restaurant, wine bar and retail store called On the Square. The wine list at On the Square holds the prestigious Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.

Inspired by Best Cellars, they created a user-friendly, non-intimidating wine list, which was well received by people and press in the eastern North Carolina region. Stephen and Inez oversee every aspect of their restaurant while raising their 2 children: an 11-year old daughter named Cynthia and an eight-year-old son named Stephen.

In 2009, Inez placed 2nd runner-up in the Best Sommelier in America competition held in New York City. She is a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame for the Institute of Culinary Education and a graduate of the Court of Master Sommelier’s Advanced Exam.  

Their next big venture is Tarboro Brewing Company, a microbrewery that started brewing in February of 2016. When Inez is not at work or with her children, she is updating her blog Inez Says as well as writing her memoir, Life After Windows.

Mike Fullwood

Mike grew up in Charleston, SC and grew up in a family that loved food and was exposed to cooking at a young age. He began his professional culinary career in 2006 at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. After two and a half years there, he started at Charleston’s acclaimed Slightly North of Broad under chef Frank Lee. At S.N.O.B. Mike learned from culinarians that emphasized refined technique, the marriage and balance of flavors, and aesthetics in food. A move to Colorado took Mike away from S.N.O.B. and launched him into the Colorado food scene where he gained kitchen management experience. Missing the South, Mike decided to return and came on board at Gan Shan Station. He is now the executive sous-chef of one of Asheville’s most ambitious and creative restaurants.


Maddy DeBoer

Pastry Chef Maddy DeBoer has always had a passion for food and the way it brings people together. Since graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in 2012, Maddy has sought out opportunities to learn and grow in businesses known for outstanding food and hospitality including Walt Disney World, The Ritz-Carlton, and Dean & Deluca SoHo. She now brings her pastry expertise to Picnic Durham where she continues to share her love of pastry and the joy it brings to people.


Wyatt Dickson’s devotion to authentic wood-smoked barbecue can be traced from one stump speech to another. The son of a Fayetteville, NC judge and North Carolina Senator, Dickson’s youth was spent at pig pickin’s, surrounded by talk of politics – both the back & forth banter about candidates and the age-old debate over eastern vs. western North Carolina barbecue.

It may have been UNC fraternity brothers who first got a taste of Dickson’s whole hog barbecue, but during law school, Dickson developed a cult following catering “Pig Whistle Barbecue” for friends, family and eventually, chefs. Dickson’s ‘cue was the center of Lantern’s 10th anniversary celebration, and of many Carolina ‘Cue Wednesdays at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill. Today, Dickson’s whole hog barbecue can be found on the plate at PICNIC in Durham, NC, or on his “Pig Whistle” smoker in a nearby pasture.

For Dickson, North Carolina barbecue means oak-smoked, locally raised, whole-hog – that’s picked, never chopped. It’s a revival of the pig pickin’ – once a fixture of community and backyard gatherings across the state – where the butt, hams, loin, belly, cheeks, skin and ribs are all blended together to a smoky bliss.

Dickson partnered with former fraternity brother Chef Ben Adams and heritage hog farmer Ryan Butler to open PICNIC in 2016. There, they serve Dickson’s whole hog barbecue made exclusively from Butler’s pastured heritage breed pigs from Green Button Farm, raised on squash, pumpkins and acorns, developing rich flavors from their well-marbled fat, making them ideal for whole animal cooking.

On the table – alongside Adams’ braised collards and Brunswick Stew – guests will find Dickson’s sauce - ‘Pig Whistle: The Great Carolina Compromise’ – a recipe passed down from a State Highway Trooper to Dickson’s father back in the 1960’s. This sauce, which his family gifted to friends and family every Christmas, tops every whole hog barbecue bite and table at PICNIC.

Reverence for Wyatt Dickson’s whole hog barbecue is certain. John Shelton Reed awarded it “True ‘Cue” status, Garden & Gun heralded it as “Pen-to-Plate” and Southern Living praised it as “Next Generation ‘Cue.”


Ben Adams

PICNIC is the shared vision of Adams, Dickson and Butler. There, you’ll discover the seasonal sides, Southern classics and time-honored desserts Adams’ fell in love with as a child, reimagined for a North Carolina barbecue joint. Expect Adams’ Crab Beignets, Puffed Pork Skins with Salt and Vinegar Powder, Smoked Buttermilk Fried Chicken and market-driven sides to share the table with Dickson’s pastured whole hog barbecue, pulled to-order.

Prior to opening PICNIC, Adams established himself as one of North Carolina’s rising chefs, responsible for revitalizing Piedmont restaurant. There, he earned 4 stars, praise in Our State Magazine, The Local Palate, and the Wall Street Journal named it a “Next Generation Farm-to- Table” restaurant.

A Charleston native, Adams returned home after attending the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland and completed stints in Charleston, SC at Hominy Grill and McCrady’s before traveling abroad for stages at Belgium’s In Da Wulf and The Royal Mail in Australia.

Picnic will serve as an inspired meat-and- three destination where the whole hog – picked to order – is available alongside Adam’s bacon-braised collards, roasted sweet potatoes with sorghum and more.


Please contact us with any questions you may have;
Jennifer Noble Kelly Public Relations, [email protected] or
Kate Connor Boyette, event coordinator at [email protected].

Name *


Green button farm

9623 N Roxboro Rd
Bahama, NC 27503