Wyatt Dickson

Picnic  |  Durham, NC

Wyatt handles the barbecue side of Picnic. His devotion to authentic wood-smoked barbecue has political roots. The son of a Fayetteville, NC judge and senator, Wyatt’s youth was spent at pig pickins, where he learned to love barbecue and appreciate the art of whole hog.

For Wyatt, North Carolina barbecue means oak-smoked, locally raised, whole-hog – that’s pulled, never chopped. It’s a revival of the pig pickin’ – once a fixture of community and backyard gatherings across the state – where the butt, hams, loin, belly, cheeks, skin and ribs are all blended together into a smoky bliss.

Wyatt’s whole-hog barbecue developed a cult following while he was in law school at UNC, where he catered “Pig Whistle Barbecue” for friends, family and eventually for Chapel Hill restaurants like Lantern and Crook’s Corner.

He partnered with local heritage-breed hog farmer Ryan Butler and chef Ben Adams to open Picnic in 2016. There, they serve Wyatt’s whole-hog barbecue made exclusively from Ryan’s pastured heritage breed pigs from Green Button Farm, which live on squash, pumpkins and acorns. This develops rich flavors from their well-marbled fat, making them ideal for whole-hog barbecue.

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Wyatt is participating in the Hill Fire dinner on Thursday, October 17.