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Adam Itayem is a Jerusalem-born, Palestinian-American who cooks barbecue in Memphis. His restaurant proves how pervasive the city’s smoked meat foodways are; Memphis barbecue incorporates all cultures.
Founded by Greek immigrant Tom Sturgis, Tom’s barbecue rub embodied his heritage, by including oregano, thyme, basil, nutmeg, and cinnamon. All of the pork and beef Itayem serves is marinated in this same spice rub for at least twenty-four hours.
Tom’s barbecue—including the famous rib tips—is still smoked on a closely watched open pit over hickory wood and charcoal. Itayem isn’t shy to say that this is the only way to get that “human touch.”