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CurEater F. Griffin Bufkin: Soul of the South

griffin bufkin, southern soul barbeque, barbeque, soul food, southern food
“We keep it real. We stay with the wood and stay with our hearts and the craft of smoking.”

St. Simons Island is a barrier island along the coast of Georgia. About halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, it is in a great locale known for good eating from red rice to she-crabs, and now thanks to F. Griffin Bufkin classic, soulful barbeque. Bufkin is a third generation islander and a true polymath having worked as photographer, designer, and club operator before settling in to the low and slow life of a barbeque man.

VIDEO: BBQ Feeds the Soul on St. Simons

Along with Co-owner Harrison Sapp, Griffin Bufkin opened Southern Soul Barbeque in 2007. Acclaim followed, including an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Just when the rest of the country was starting to notice what was smoking on St. Simons, Southern Soul suffered a serious fire. But, they rebuilt and were quickly back in the saddle. They also got back in the habit of picking up awards like Southern Living’s 2017 award for The South’s Best BBQ. Their menu has garnered acclaim for its blend of traditional soul food sides and classic, wood smoked pork, brisket, sausage, and poultry. They also have created a line of retail products including rubs, sauces, and a particularly epic bologna.

RECIPE: Southern Soul’s Brunswick Stew

Bufkin isn’t just a student of BBQ. He also cares deeply about the cultural of soul food from coastal Georgia and beyond. He’s active in the Southern Foodways Alliance, and Southern Soul’s website provides a list of supplier, organizations, and other restaurants that share SFA’s philosophy. Bufkin’s Instagram is another great source–he frequently posts dynamic images of chefs, restaurants, and meals from his region and beyond.

For more of F. Griffin Bufkin favorites follow him on CurEat.