Smoke & Embers: The Art of Vaquero BBQ with pit master Adrian Davila at the Briscoe

Smoke & Embers: The Art of Vaquero BBQ is this Thursday, October 7 at the Briscoe. Photo: Briscoe Western Art Museum, used with permission.

There is no doubt that good Texas barbecue is a masterpiece to be admired, but is your barbecue museum-worthy? Join the Briscoe Western Art Museum for “Smoke & Embers: The Art of Vaquero BBQ” as acclaimed pit master, author, and chef Adrian Davila leads an in-depth, hands-on demonstration of the history and techniques behind the cuisine that once kept vaqueros and cowboys fed. (Briscoe Western Art Museum, 2021)

“Smoke & Embers: The Art of Vaquero BBQ” is this Thursday, October 7, from 6:30p.m. – 8:30p.m. Third generation pit master Davila will guide guests through perfecting Texas barbecue on the pit in the Briscoe’s McNutt Sculpture Garden, discussing and exploring barbecue and traditional vaquero cooking methods on the range.

The evening is a perfect side to complement the Briscoe’s fall exhibition, Vaqueros de la Cruz del Diablo: Contemporary Photography of the Northern Mexican Cowboy. Making its United States debut at the Briscoe, Vaqueros de la Cruz del Diablo features celebrated photographer Werner Segarra inviting audiences to peer into the world of the Norteño Cowboys from Sonora, Mexico – not as a casual tourist, but as an intimate observer. With almost sixty images spanning more than twenty years of the lives of the vaqueros, Segarra’s images highlight the expansive landscape, their daily work, and the intimacy of their homes, not merely documenting the vaquero, but celebrating his subjects and their way of life. The exhibition opened to the public September 25, 2021 and will run through Monday January 24, 2022.

The Art of Vaquero BBQ is $55 for museum members and $65 for non-members. In addition to the barbecue presentation and hands-on pit demonstration, the evening includes a three-course tasting to enjoy with wine and beer, and Davila’s special Dry Rub to take home. Space is limited on a first-come, first-served basis and tickets must be purchased in advance.

A world-recognized barbecue pit master and author, Davila is a third-generation pit master, chef and restaurateur at his family’s acclaimed Davila’s BBQ in Seguin. Davila has been featured as a guest chef on Food Network’s “The Kitchen” and “Barbecue Beatdown,” and at restaurants La Fama Barbecue and The Ugly American, in Bogota, Colombia. His book, “Cowboy Barbecue: Fire & Smoke from the Original Texas Vaqueros,” celebrates traditions of Latin America and Texas, taking inspiration from the vaquero lifestyle and his own family history, goes beyond standard grilling and offering techniques for smoking, cooking directly on the embers, underground, on a spit, and more. The book will be available for purchase and Davila will be signing copies during the event.

Davila’s BBQ’s special dry rub is available in more than two hundred H-E-B stores across Texas after Davila was named a finalist in the grocery chain’s Quest for Texas Best competition. Invented by Davila’s grandfather, the dry rub is used on all of Davila’s BBQ’s meats, including lamb, pork, brisket, and chicken. In addition to taking home Davila’s BBQ’s rub, there will be a raffle during the event and the prizes will include a Davila’s Decadent Dinner for four at the restaurant that includes a behind-the-scenes pit tour, two bottles of Davila’s BBQ sauces and a $25 gift certificate for a return visit. The dinner is a complete meal for four hungry people, featuring a wide array of menu items and a few off-menu items for everyone to enjoy.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum: Preserving and presenting the art, history and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs and public events reflective of the region’s rich traditions and shared heritage, the Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on the San Antonio River Walk at 210 W. Market Street in the beautifully restored 1930s former San Antonio Public Library building. Named in honor of the late Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. and his wife, Janey Slaughter Briscoe, the museum includes the three-story Jack Guenther Pavilion, used for event rentals and programs, and the outdoor McNutt Sculpture Garden.

Adrian Davila. Photo: Briscoe Western Art Museum, used with permission.
Photo: Briscoe Western Art Museum, used with permission.

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