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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Kentucky BBQ


Hugh Knoth

Hugh Knoth owns and runs the barbecue restaurant that his parents opened in 1965. Located in the Southwestern Kentucky town of Grand Rivers, Knoth’s is situated between Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, both popular vacation destinations. Business booms in the summer, catering to travelers who crave Knoth’s simple menu offerings. Hugh believes in doing a few things well as opposed to offering a little bit of everything. To that end, he focuses on pork shoulders doused in a tart, orangey sauce that’s heavy on the cider vinegar. After a devastating fire in 1992, Knoth’s moved from its original building to its current location in a former seafood joint. To be cautious, Hugh built the pits in a separate building, and it’s been smooth smoking ever since.

Date of interview:
2009-08-03 00:00

Lisa Powell

Lisa Powell

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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