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16610
South Carolina

The Best Barbecue in the World: Secrets, Sauces and Smokers

For some, BBQ is more than just cooking, it’s a way of life. Come see for yourself as you join an experienced Pit-Master for an in-depth look at their culinary craft.
Rating (5)
Program No. 16610RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,549
South Carolina

The Best Barbecue in the World: Secrets, Sauces and Smokers

For some, BBQ is more than just cooking, it’s a way of life. Come see for yourself as you join an experienced Pit-Master for an in-depth look at their culinary craft.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,549
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
1,549
Program No. 16610RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 2 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
1,549
Sep 24 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
1,549
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 2 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
2,009
Sep 24 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
2,009

At a Glance

Explore the history and experience mouthwatering recreations of the world’s oldest live-fire cuisine! Delve into the evolution, philosophy and customs of this delicious culinary art form with Seth Watari. Seth hasn’t always loved barbecued meats. He can’t claim that his dad or grandfather were great Pit Masters, because they weren’t great Pit Masters; but Seth encountered Southern Barbecue while traveling in South Carolina in 1974. During a business trip, to the up-state, a chance dining experience with two local “Country” gentlemen started his quest for Southern Barbecue perfection. From that day forward, Seth has traveled 49 states sampling and learning about regional Barbecues. Settling in South Carolina’s Low Country, where Barbecue seems to be almost a religion, Seth narrowed his Barbecue focus on Low Country Barbecue history, techniques and flavors. Seth now shares his Barbecue experience and knowledge with Barbecue judges, experienced Pit Masters, and most importantly, backyard cooks.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Walking 2-3 blocks; some uneven terrain.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn the history, methodology and application of traditional BBQ with exposure to numerous proteins and enjoy hands-on experiences as you prepare perfectly paired side dishes for each day’s themed dinners.
  • Practice cooking methods for rendering tough cuts of meat into succulent BBQ — from proper fuels, injections and rubs to wood types and the proper application of the low-and-slow methodology.
  • Discover how the flavor profiles change with new marinades, injections and dry rubs and transition to hot-and-fast cooking methods.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Seth Watari
Seth is an award-winning cook, competition judge and instructor specializing in Lowcountry barbecue native to South Carolina. His interest in barbecue dates back to the mid-1980s when he lived in Herndon, Virginia. He is a cofounder of the Southern Barbecue Network, which sanctions tournaments and certifies judges in South Carolina, and the co-owner and pit master of the Some-R Swine competition team. Seth has also taught at the Carolina Pit Masters Barbecue Cooking School.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Seth Watari
Seth Watari View biography
Seth is an award-winning cook, competition judge and instructor specializing in Lowcountry barbecue native to South Carolina. His interest in barbecue dates back to the mid-1980s when he lived in Herndon, Virginia. He is a cofounder of the Southern Barbecue Network, which sanctions tournaments and certifies judges in South Carolina, and the co-owner and pit master of the Some-R Swine competition team. Seth has also taught at the Carolina Pit Masters Barbecue Cooking School.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Prince of Tides
by Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy's novel captures the beauty of the lowcountry as it moves from present to past and back again. Made into a movie by the same title starring Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte. Narrated by Tom Wingo, the novel explores the relationships between members of a dysfunctional family as it moves between the lowcountry to Manhattan. Shrimping, good description of salt marshes.
The Spirit of Sweetgrass
by Nicole Seitz
Seitz's main character is Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins, a Gullah sweetgrass basketmaker who weaves her magic on the roadside near Mt. Pleasant. With her special love baskets, she works to brings people together. Conflict ensues when her daughter wants her to go to a rest home, and the florist she's been trying to fix up turns out to be gay. Sweetgrass making, roadside basket sellers in the Charleston area, mystery, comedy, family relationships, friends.
Confederates in the Attic
by Tony Horwitz
This is one of the funniest, most poignant, appalling, and clear pictures of the modern South's relationship to the Civil War she's ever seen. She says Horwitz (not a Southerner) is a great writer, no matter his topic, and here he jumps into his topic with both muddied feet. From the Book Description: When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart. Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance. In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.' Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.
"The Swamp Fox"
by Amy Crawford
Here's the link to this article about one of the most famous Revolutionary War heroes in SC, and one for whom counties and cities are named. Francis Marion used his knowledge of the swamps and woods of SC and his attention to details to outwit British troops and earn his nickname. A poor speller, he was nonetheless a great report-writer. www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/biography/fox.html
A Coast for All Seasons: A Naturalist's Guide to the Coast of South Carolina
by Miles O. Hayes, Jacqueline Michel and Joseph M. Holmes
From Book Description: "Explore the marvels of the South Carolina coast through the eyes of two gifted coastal geologists. Miles O. Hayes and Jacqueline Michel take their exceptional understanding of the Carolina coast with its barrier islands, estuaries and bays, and, offer rare insights into this beautiful, and, sometimes, treacherous world. Illustrations, photographs and satellite imagery enhance a narrative that presents hard science and makes it accessible and very human. This is a book that investigates the changing face of the coastline through erosion, hurricanes and climate change. This is a book that matters."
The Water is Wide
by Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy's memoir about teaching on Daufuskee Island in a one-room schoolhouse. The book was made into the movie Conrack, starring Jon Voight. Sense of place and people. Product Description from publisher: The island is nearly deserted, haunting, beautiful. Across a slip of ocean lies South Carolina. But for the handful of families on Yamacraw island, America is a world away. For years the people here lived proudly from the sea, but now its waters are not safe. Waste from industry threatens their very existence--unless, somehow, they can learn a new life. But they will learn nothing without someone to teach them, and their school has no teacher. Here is PAT CONROY'S extraordinary drama based on his own experience: the true story of a man who gave a year of his life to an island and the new life its people gave him.
Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast: Common Birds, Crabs, Shells, Fish, and other Entities of the Coastal Environment (2nd edition)
by Peter Meyer
Copied from Book Description: "Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast, second edition, is a completely updated, revised, and expanded version of the book originally published in 1991. It is a practical, entertaining, reader-friendly guide to the common animals, plants, and environment of the Carolina coast. Fully illustrated, with over 150 color photographs to aid with identification of over 120 subjects, plus additional drawings with in-depth information on each subject. Scientifically accurate, yet written in language the lay public can understand. It is a perfect resource for coastal residents and visitors along the North Carolina/South Carolina, and even the Georgia coast. A beachcomber's handbook; valuable to any seaside explorer."
Tideland Treasure
by Todd Balantine
Hand-drawn illustrations enhance the explanations. Each page was once an article in the local paper. Written for regular folks, there's information to satisfy trained naturalists.
Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest
by Lawrence S. Earley
Our Naturalists say that this is the “best all around for naturalists and history lovers.” Longleaf pine forests are a special ecosystem and home to the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. From Book Description: "Covering 92 million acres from Virginia to Texas, the longleaf pine ecosystem was, in its prime, one of the most extensive and biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. Today these magnificent forests have declined to a fraction of their original extent, threatening such species as the gopher tortoise, the red-cockaded woodpecker, and the Venus fly-trap. Conservationists have proclaimed longleaf restoration a major goal, but has it come too late? In Looking for Longleaf, Lawrence S. Earley explores the history of these forests and the astonishing biodiversity of the longleaf ecosystem, drawing on extensive research and telling the story through first-person travel accounts and interviews with foresters, ecologists, biologists, botanists, and landowners. For centuries, these vast grass-covered forests provided pasture for large cattle herds, in addition to serving as the world's greatest source of naval stores. They sustained the exploitative turpentine and lumber industries until nearly all of the virgin longleaf had vanished. Looking for Longleaf demonstrates how, in the twentieth century, forest managers and ecologists struggled to understand the special demands of longleaf and to halt its overall decline. The compelling story Earley tells here offers hope that with continued human commitment, the longleaf pine might not just survive, but once again thrive."
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Ridgeland, SC
D
LifeTides Institute's Community of Cottages

Activity note: Check-in and Program Registration from 4:30 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Dinner: Enjoy a sumptuous Low Country Dinner, served at 6 PM. A brief orientation will follow dinner and you will meet Seth, your Master BBQ Chef..

Evening: After dinner we'll gather for a group introduction and orientation. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Lowcountry BBQ History, Hands-on Cooking BBQ Chicken
Ridgeland, SC
B,L,D
LifeTides Institute's Community of Cottages

Activity note: Bring your apron and pad and pencil to take notes of today's amazing, hands-on class. You will be sitting and standing for short periods of time with breaks. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

Breakfast: Start the day out right with our Lowcountry Breakfast, beginning at 8 a.m.

Morning: We'll start the day learning about the history of and philosophy behind Lowcountry BBQ with our Master BBQ Chef and certified BBQ Judge. After, we'll get started with our first hands on cooking class, learning a unique preparation method as we prepare the star of our meal, chicken, for the pit!

Lunch: Around noon, we'll take a break and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll enjoy some more expert instruction while we slow smoke our BBQ chickens in the pit.

Dinner: This evening, we'll enjoy a leisurely dinner, of our freshly smoked BBQ chickens, served buffet style at 6 PM

Evening: After dinner, join us for a fun filled evening learning about the background, natural and cultural history of the surrounding area and the LifeTides Institute.

DAY
3
Ribs & Rubs
Ridgeland, SC
B,L,D
LifeTides Institute's Community of Cottages

Activity note: Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear and whatever you might need to take good notes. You will be standing and sitting for periods of time with short breaks in between.

Breakfast: Start the day out right with our Lowcountry Breakfast, beginning at 8 a.m.

Morning: This morning we'll discover the history, technique, and application of barbecue to ribs cooked Lowcountry Style! Along the way we'll learn about spare ribs, baby back ribs and feather bones. After delving into the world of ribs, we'll switch gears and learn how to prepare 'Chicken Pirlou,' a side dish using the chicken leftover from last night's dinner and the best Green Beans ever from the grill!

Lunch: At noon, we'll stop and take a break for another delicious buffet style lunch and a bit of free time.

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll get hands on with ribs. Using what we learned in this morning's class, we'll also discuss different types of rubs, how they are made and used as we prepare our next meal.

Dinner: Your great ribs, our acclaimed sides and desserts beginning at 6PM

Evening: A local sweet grass basket maker will demonstrate the art of basket making, while sharing the history behind this amazing art.

DAY
4
Sauces, Woods, Fuels, Cookers, Pulled Pork & BBQ Pit Beans
Ridgeland, SC
B,L,D
LifeTides Institute's Community of Cottages

Activity note: Once again, you will want to dress comfortable and wear footwear that will allow you to stand for short periods of time.

Breakfast: Fuel up with another delicious Lowcountry buffet breakfast, beginning at 8 a.m.

Morning: This morning we'll cover a lot of ground. We'll start by discussing sauces and injections, which will include a sauce tasting exercise! Then we'll jump into today's main topic: pork! Our instructor will cover two ways to smoke pork butts - low & slow and fast & hot. After, we'll get hands on, learning how to prepare baked beans using left over rib meat from last night's dinner, along with two types of coleslaw: creamy green and Red/White/Blue!

Lunch: Yet another mouth watering lunch!

Afternoon: After lunch we'll get hands on with our pork butts. Using what we learned this morning, we'll prepare the butts for the smoker and our dinner! As they cook, we'll enjoy some time tending the smoker with our Pit Master. It's a relaxed environment and a great time for questions!

Dinner: At 6 p.m. we'll enjoy the fruits of our labor as we sit down to savor our pulled pork, BBQ pit beans and other savory sides!

Evening: Tonight enjoy a very captivating story teller about local history and culture of the Lowcountry.

DAY
5
BBQ Gadgets & Graduation
Ridgeland, SC
B,L,D
LifeTides Institute's Community of Cottages

Breakfast: Our famous Lowcountry breakfast buffet is served at 8 a.m.

Morning: This morning we'll being with a discussion of BBQ Gadgets "101" as our Pit Master will reviews the science of BBQ with the latest gadgets to help us cook. After we'll have our Pit Master Graduation and class photos.

Lunch: Our usual delicious low country buffett will be served at noon.

Afternoon: Free time. This block of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Please note that the period scheduled for free time is subject to change depending on local circumstances and opportunities for independent exploration.

Dinner: Final but very special Lowcountry Dinner!!

Evening: Our final evening together with a special Farewell Party!

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Ridgeland, SC
B

Activity note: Check out is at 10.

Breakfast: Our final leisurely, Lowcountry breakfast will be served at 8 a.m.

Morning: Reviews and wrap up! This morning we'll be packing up and saying goodbye to new friends. We'll take some time to share parting stories and ask any final questions. Make plans to come back for even more lessons about South Carolina BBQ! If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.