Nancy Krohngold confesses she may be in a category of one. “I’m a white Jewish woman making pork barbecue,” she said.
Krohngold is one of those truly special people that you meet once and feel like you have been friends for a long time. She is kind and thoughtful, like when she sends food to a blogger when her kitchen was being renovated. She has donated countless pulled pork butts and sides for numerous charities and is always stopping to greet and thank her loyal following, otherwise known as Nancy's groupies.
Raised in Sarasota, Krohngold took turns at secretarial work, sales, food service, law school and graphic design. But her enduring passion was always food and cooking. In 2003 a New York Times story inspired Krohngold to make Carolina-style barbecue pulled pork. She was smitten by the process and the incomparable flavor of the finished product.
Soon she was accepting orders for pork barbeque dinners, which led to catering events and staging “stealth” lunch concession at private venues announced through social media.
Krohngold opened in Historic Burns Square this past March and has barely had time to look up, let alone sit back and reflect on her success.
I asked Nancy a few questions to get a sense of her inspirations.
Patch: Who is the greatest master smoker?
Nancy: Ray Lampe, AKA "Dr. BBQ". I met him five or six years ago when he oversaw the menu for a BBQ-based Florida Wine fest/Winemaker dinner at the Founders Club and I was a kitchen slave for two days, working side by side with him. He could not have been kinder or more generous with his instruction and advice.
Patch: Where does your passion come from?
Nancy: I've always loved cooking and food and eating great food. From the first time I made pulled pork, tending it for 14 or more hours on my backyard Weber grill, I was hooked. It took so long. It was hard work, but the result tasted so incredible. It made the effort worthwhile and rewarding enough that I couldn't wait to do it again.
Patch: What is your favorite breakfast?
Nancy: Breakfast Fry Up at Station 400: 2 eggs scrambled (soft, please!), Roasted Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Bacon, Breakfast Sausage, Cheesy Grits and Rye Toast.
Patch: What song best reflects your cooking?
Nancy: The Beatles, "With a Little Help From My Friends." My business would never have gotten off the ground without them (some of my friends).