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Meet The Host

Pat Martin

Pat Martin

A leader in the industry, he is one of few pitmasters still carrying the torch of West Tennessee-style whole hog barbecue and a dedicated independent restaurateur with a growing footprint across the Southeast.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is rooted in Pat’s lifelong love for the art of pit-cooked barbecue, open-flame cooking, and grilling. The entire menu at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is scratch-made, every single day – from sides to sauces, and everything in between. What began as a 950-square foot joint in Nolensville, TN, is today a beloved culinary destination with deep Nashville roots, a 500+ person team, and seven locations sprinkled across Nashville, with outposts in Birmingham, AL; Louisville, KY; and Charleston, SC. Building upon the success of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Pat opened Hugh-Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop in 2017 as a tribute to the small town barbecue and burger spots that dotted the mid-South of his youth. Dedicated to simple, delicious food and warm Southern hospitality, Hugh-Baby’s menu covers all the classics, with burgers, Memphis-style pulled pork, hot dogs, fries and hand-spun shakes at its heart. There are three Hugh-Baby’s locations in Nashville and a newly opened outpost in Charleston, SC. In 2023, Pat partnered with his longtime friend and fellow Nashville restaurant owner, Bill Darsinos, to open SweetMilk, serving old-school, traditional Southern breakfast that Pat’s grandmother (Nonie Sue Martin) cooked for her family every morning. SweetMilk bakes a limited number of from-scratch, hand-cut, cast iron-baked biscuits every day (using White Lily Flour, of course) and served until sold out.

Pat released his debut book, Life of Fire: Mastering the Arts of Pit-Cooked Barbecue, The Grill, and The Smokehouse (Clarkson Potter), in the Spring of 2022. Through beautiful photography and detailed instruction, this procedural book is a must-have guide to open-fire cooking. Here, Martin looks to transform the way you cook by revealing the craft of West Tennessee-style BBQ - a tradition he’s spent a lifetime studying, teaching, and celebrating.