Pitt Eats, the campus dining program at University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) that is operated by Chartwells Higher Education, recently launched its new Smokeland BBQ concept, which comes complete with a customized food truck and smoker. As distinctive features of the concept, beef and pork from local vendor Jubilee Hilltop Ranch will be cooked slowly on an 18-foot Pitt Smoker located on Pitt’s William Pitt Plaza, and a uniquely wrapped and branded Smokeland BBQ food truck will serve a rotating menu of smoked meats. Smokeland BBQ meat, as well as sauces and chips will also be available in Pitt’s The Hub and Forbes Street Market retail locations.
For the concept, Executive Chef Danielle Gallaway and her team crafted unique barbecue sauces and rubs they’re calling “Pittsburgh Style,” because they evoke the melting pot of cultural flavors experienced throughout the city’s neighborhoods. Hence, the medley of spices is different from what is found in traditional barbecue.
Two custom barbecue sauces were bottled and labeled in partnership with local firm Pittsburgh Pickle Co., along with a custom Rockin’ BBQ rub for meats packaged by another local business, Pittsburgh Spice Co. The unique blend of spices was also developed into a barbecue-flavored chip that will be produced by Uglies Kettle Cooked Potato Chips and co- branded with Smokeland BBQ chip packaging.
“We’re very excited to pioneer this program that takes a university- created and branded food concept out to the public,” Gallaway says. “We wanted to create a barbecue program that reflects the uniqueness and diversity of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. This brings local farmers and food companies to the forefront. Pittsburgh has become a hub of culinary innovation, and this gave us an opportunity to create a program that is unique to Pittsburgh instead of just mimicking a style that’s already available.”
The Pitt Smoker and Smokeland BBQ food truck will also be available for rental and catering and make regular appearances at special events. Chartwells and Pitt Eats also plan to make the sauces and rubs along with the Smokeland BBQ-branded chips available through local retailers.
“Our Pitt Eats culinary leadership crafted a genuine barbecue experience,” offers Vice President of Operations Quintin Eason. “There was a huge opportunity in the central Oakland landscape to find a niche concept with bold charm. Smokeland is the result.”