Meet 'The Pit Man'
What is a Pit Master - or at our joint, a Pit Man? He's the expert pyro who presides over the red-hot coals to create smoky, char-encrusted proteins of perfection. And it's someone with infinite patience because the best barbeque is low and slow.
And that's just how our Pit Man likes it.
A son of Louisiana and self-taught pitmaster, Cedric Taylor was born where barbeque is a way of life. Transplanted to Kansas as a teen, he was quickly inspired to learn the art of smoking meat. Restaurants soon called him to action and he took over kitchens downtown and out West where Taylor began working seriously with meats and even exotic meats (rattlesnake, boar) at the now-closed Gobi Grille.
Customers catch a glimpse of him - usually laughing - when he gets pulled away from his smoker to help sling some Q upfront. Even when he's away from work, he's always in motion, and most likely up to something. Cooking a special dinner for his mother, organizing a special day for his kids, clicking away on his cell phone looking for new recipes, surprising a coworker with a favorite treat for their lunch break – it’s all in a day's work for the smokin' master.
“I’m always cooking,” he laughed, “I start here, lighting the smokers about 4:30 every morning, then I cook more when I get home. Guess it’s a good thing I love it.”
The father of three spent his youth in Louisiana, near the Texas border. He grew up with folks around him grilling and smoking meats. Locally, that meant lots of oak and mesquite but now, managing his own smokers Taylor tends to favor a combination of hickory and pecan. The primary wood used at Delano Barbecue Company, pecan, burns slowly and gives meats a delicate yet pungent flavor, he said.