Acclaimed Netflix culinary series Chef’s Table is back for another instalment, this time taking on the world of BBQ.
Barbecue invokes memories of hot summers, camping with friends, and family holidays. But as this series reveals, barbecue has a long and elaborate history. From the pitmasters of Texas to the Basque wood fire cooking traditions, there are many iterations of barbecue around the world.
First up to be featured in Chef’s Table: BBQ episode 1 is Tootsie Tomanetz, a legend in her hometown of Texas and beyond.
So, with Tootsie about to become even more of a world famous name than she already is, we thought we’d find out more about her. Get to know Tootsie Tomanetz here.
Who is Tootsie Tomanetz?
Norma Frances “Tootsie” Tomanetz was born on April 20th, 1935 in Lexington, Texas. This makes her currently 85 years old.
Tootsie is the postmaster at Snow’s BBQ and is widely regarded as the “Queen of Texas BBQ.” Given that many consider Texas to be the home of barbecue, this comes as high praise, and it’s not hard to see why.
Her family were based three miles of Lexington and lived on a farm. Tootsie’s father ran the farm and her mother oversaw the garden. She was the eldest of three children.
In 1956, Tootsie married Edward, or “White” as he was known, a Korean War veteran who’d been stationed in Alaska. The couple went on to have three children themselves named Patricia, Dale, and Hershel. Edward Tomanetz worked at the City Meat Market in Giddings, Texas which is where the Snow’s BBQ journey began.
Tootsie’s BBQ journey
In 1966, Mr. Doyle who was the owner of City Meat Market, required more help. Tootsie was roped in as Edward already worked there. While at the market, Tootsie learned how to cook on the pits. She worked there for the following ten years. Tootsie impressed Mr. Doyle and so when he bought the Meat Market in Lexington, he asked her to run it. A year into Tootsie’s career as manager of the Lexington market, and she bought it from Doyle with the help of Edward.
Edward and Tootsie ran the Meat Market throughout the week and then would barbecue the meat they did not sell on Sundays. They stopped this business when Edward suffered a stroke.
But an opportunity came Tootsie’s way when she was approached by Kerry “Snow” Bexley. Bexley wanted to start a new BBQ business and enlisted Tootsie’s help. Snow’s BBQ opened March 1, 2003.
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Can you visit Snow’s BBQ?
Snow’s BBQ is currently closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Tootsie is still working and still can get American customers their favourite meats.
In a recent interview from April 2020, Tootsie explained:
We are currently shipping nationwide right now which you can order online via The Snow’s BBQ WebsiteClay Cowgill (Pitmaster at Snow’s) is up there cooking twice a week and I’m cooking one day a week right now to get the meats smoked so they can ship them out.
Typically, Snow’s BBQ is open every Saturday from 8am until the barbecue has sold out. You can find the restaurant on 516 Main St, Lexington, TX 78947.
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