By early June, Bryan and Nikki Furman’s restaurant, B’s Cracklin’ BBQ in Savannah, Ga., had been open for a little over a year but had already been listed as one of Southern Living‘s 50 best Southern-barbecue joints. Known for farming its own vegetables, offering a mustard-based South Carolina-style sauce and raising its own pigs, the restaurant was a testament to the family’s love for quality, sustainable, traditional ‘cue.
But on June 11, B’s burned to the ground. Although the Furmans were leasing the building, they had no insurance and have launched a $75,000 GoFundMe drive to to rekindle the business.
On Saturday, July 18, Asheville-area chefs will do their part in a Blind Pig Supper Club fundraiser dubbed “The American Dream.” The event’s aimed at both helping rebuild B’s Cracklin’ BBQ and collecting food for the nonprofit Manna FoodBank.
The timing makes B’s fire all the more crippling for the Furmans, says Mike Moore, who runs the Blind Pig Supper Club, for which chefs create conceptual culinary experiences for the public and give major portions of the proceeds to charity.
“When they started [B’s Cracklin’ BBQ, the Furmans], kept their full-time jobs because they didn’t know what to expect,” he says. “But then it really took off, … and they both resigned from their jobs and made it their full-time business.
“Their story is a story of the American dream, and [the fire] is like the worst nightmare,” he says.
A fundraiser with a barbecue theme was an easy choice. “We’ve always had a big barbecue cookout event,” Moore adds. In past years, Blind Pig has hosted pig pickings with such pit master legends as Ed Mitchel, Rodney Scott and Tyson Ho. Those dinners, like all Blind Pig events, have been benefits for local charities and nonprofits.
Bryan Furman will be there to smoke the hog, chef Elliot Moss will make side dishes, and Moore has invited regional chefs to provide tastings during the event’s social hour. “I sent out a text to some chefs, and the community support that we got was mind-blowing. We quickly assembled an army of chefs for this dinner, and we’re trying to maximize as much funding for [the Furmans], because every little bit helps.”
Those social-hour chefs include Ryan Kline of Buffalo Nickel; Steven Goff, the nomad chef formerly of King James Public House; and Jeff Banister of the Bovinoche meat extravaganza that’s held every year in Simpsonville, S.C.
The dinner is one in a series of benefits for the Furmans. The first was held in Charleston and hosted by Home Team BBQ. “They put together a dinner for them, and just last week there was another barbecue joint in Georgia that did the same thing,” says Moore. The Furmans “are just getting a lot of love and support from fellow chefs and cooks within our network.”
“This is such a good example of camaraderie and brotherhood,” says Moore.
WHAT: The American Dream, a food drive for Asheville-based nonprofit Manna FoodBank and a barbecue fundraiser for Bryan and Nikki Furman’s restaurant, B’s Cracklin BBQ. $45 general admission, food-and-beverage industry seats $25.
Guests should bring food (frozen, fresh, boxed or canned) for Manna’s drop boxes and a chance to win two free seats to “Pachamanca,” Blind Pig’s August 2 event with Chef Nohe Weir-Villatoro (it’s also Blind Pig’s 100th charity event celebration). The names of the winning ticket will be announced at the end of the dinner.
Featured local music: Hank West & Friends
WHEN: 5-10 p.m., Saturday, July 18
WHERE: Franny’s Farm in Leicester