Pitmaster and owner of the Peg Leg Porker restaurant, Carey Bringle, has been “cookin’” barbecue for over 30 years. Having been born and raised in Nashville, slow cooking pork in the company of friends and family has always been a huge part of Carey’s life. To him, barbecue isn’t just about the food, it’s truly about the lifestyle.
We got a glimpse into this lifestyle during our interview with Carey. As he shared his story with us he painted scenes of the barbecues he had growing up. Aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends; an entire community gathered to celebrate life. Because barbecue takes so long to cook, it’s the perfect time to laugh and share stories over a glass of bourbon, which Carey tells us is an essential part of any cookout.
Carey lost his leg to bone cancer at 17, but his strong character and persistent attitude didn’t let it affect him too much. His passion for barbecue was, and still is, alive and thriving. Around age 22 he joined his first competition team which was thrown out of one of the largest barbecue competitions in the country (a story you should ask him about if you ever get the chance). The following year he started a new team and remained on that team for 12 years before he founded the Peg Leg Porkers.
Opening a restaurant has long been a dream of Carey’s – a dream that had to be put on hold as he raised his young family. As his kids grew up, the dream began to seem more attainable, and Carey founded the one and only Peg Leg Porker restaurant in 2013.
The restaurant itself was bustling with hungry people. Carey said that it usually stays that busy around the lunch hour. Covered head to toe in Bringle family memorabilia, the restaurant really feels like “Uncle Carey’s living room.” And of course, the smells of some of the best barbecue in town fills the dining area. However, the Peg Leg Porker brand goes well beyond the restaurant. It’s goal is to share what Carey showed us barbecue is all about in the first place: family, community, and togetherness.