< Back to Oral History project: Tennessee BBQ
Adam Itayem is a Jerusalem-born, Palestinian-American cooking 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.”