NewsLocal News


Mr Nelson's World Famous BBQ serving up ribs and joy at Juneteenth this year

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 19:38:25-04

Darryl Nelson has been selling his world famous barbecue for more than 40 years, but his passion for food goes much further back.

"I just loved cooking. Have neighborhood cookouts that would shut down the whole neighborhood," he says.

Nelson says the history of barbecue goes way back. He learned a traditional method from his family.

"Grandfather used to always dig a hole and put rocks in it and stuff like that and then put the coals down there and cook with wood, right?"

Though the cooking method has changed over the years, the spirit of sharing good food hasn't.

"We'd have family get-togethers and stuff and I used to love to see the joy," Nelson says.

Nelson got a little famous for his tasty turkey legs, so selling them seemed like the obvious choice. He spends a lot of time in Milwaukee, but travels with his trailer to states all over the country.

"I'd ask them, 'do you want the meat or the bone?' They'd say, 'we want the meat.' I'd [shake the leg] and it would undress itself and I'm holding the bone there," Nelson says with a laugh.

He says the same is true about his ribs.

"Anything with a bone going to come off the bone!"

Customers can't get enough of his food, so Nelson is pretty pumped up for Juneteenth.

"It's a joy when you see there ain't no trouble going on, everybody loving on each other and being nice to each other and laughing and grinning," he says.

The holiday may celebrate African American culture, but Nelson knows the festivities — and the food — bring people together.

"White, Black, Puerto Ricans, Africans, whatever. When they stop by, once they taste it, it's over!"

And after all these years, that's really what it's about for Mr. Nelson.

"Joy! Just like a bishop, a preacher behind his pulpit," Nelson says. "That's what this means to me, this is my ministry."

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip