Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nathaniel Ray Nolan: ‘I’m the World Famous Dr. of Barbeque’

      Long before the tantalizing aroma of barbecue ever wafted across Nathaniel Ray Nolan’s nostrils, pit masters in Memphis and Shelby County were already making headway in perfecting the art of barbecuing various meat products on the grill.
      It would take Nolan most of his life to master the grill. Now he’s confident that he can whet the appetite and tease the palette of those who relish good barbecue with a slather of his own specially formulated tangy/sweet barbecue sauce.
      Nolan proclaims himself the “Dr. of Barbecue,” a title he assures he can back up. No matter the competition, he says he’s “world famous,” a description he’s added to the name of his newly launched “World Famous Dr. Barbecue Sauce.”
Nathaniel Ray Nolan
      “Barbecue is who I am,” said Nolan, who barbecues and caters all types of events for a living. “Some guys are good at what they do. I’m good at what I do. It’s an art. And I am very serious about my product, my brand.”
      Nolan has been serious about barbecue since he was 6 years old living in the Binghamton community. His mother, he said, would send his father out to purchase barbecue sandwiches for the family every Friday night.
      “I thought barbecue was the best sandwich I’d ever had. Then I began craving barbeque. It was sort of like my passion,” said Nolan, recalling the savory experience that triggered an unrelenting search for the ultimate barbecue sandwich.
      “I was about 9 years old when I used to go in my mom’s pantry and get a little ketchup and a little vinegar. My dad was from New Orleans. So when she would go to New Orleans, she’d bring back all these herbs and spices,” said Nolan, the second born of seven children.
      Nolan’s passion, cravings, and insatiable appetite for barbecue never waned. He even worked at barbecue restaurants when he grew older. “I told some of the owners…I said, ‘Look, sir, you guys don’t have to pay me in cash, y’all can pay me in barbecue.’”
      The plan was to learn as much about preparing barbecue and, most certainly, the sauce. “I was trying to learn a lot about everybody’s secret sauce,” he said. “I knew that one ingredient that I would need to use was ketchup.”
      Undaunted by the secrets of other sauces, Nolan set out to make his own barbecue sauce, one that would “blow your taste buds away.” So he started experimenting, and, through trial and error, kept trying to formulate his own special sauce.
World Famous Dr.
Barbecue Sauce
      In 1977, the pit master started his first barbecue restaurant in Memphis. It was a dream come true, he said, one that he’d envisioned in his youth when he first aspired to become an entrepreneur. Even after overcoming a speech impediment, he was on his way to becoming the “Dr. of Barbecue.”
      “Because I’m the ‘World Famous Dr. of Barbeque,’ I wanted to play up to the doctor …to make sure that my barbecue sauce is healthy for the body,” said Nolan, who consulted with a chemist to ascertain the right mixture of herbs and spices for his barbecue sauce. 
      “I wanted to keep the ingredients low in sodium. I wanted to keep it a healthy, conscious barbecue sauce, which would be a great marketing tool because people are very health conscious these days,” he said.
      Taking his role seriously as the ‘World Famous Dr. of Barbecue,’ Nolan says, “If you got a pain that you can’t explain, if you got an ache that won’t wait, if you got a feeling that’s killing, you need to come see Dr. Barbecue for some nutritional healing.”
      Nolan is not shy about promoting his barbecue sauce, which he often refers to as his “Memphis Mojo Barbecue Sauce.” He also has developed a dry rub that he’s calling his M.F.E. (Miracle Flavor Enhancer). And in the very near future, he plans to introduce a wing sauce and salad dressing.
     “It’s like my little goobie dust,” he said.
     In order to prove the appeal of his sauce, Nolan has conducted several taste tests with various brand- name barbecue sauces currently on the market. “99.9 percent of people chose my sauce over the others,” he said. “This is an amazing barbecue sauce that the world needs to know about.”
      Tens of millions worldwide got a chance to see Nolan challenging Eddie Robinson in an underground barbecue cook-off via the Travel Channel. Both teams – Cordova vs. Prospect – grilled pork ribs and presented a menu that represented their neighborhoods.
      Nolan collected a hefty $10,000 grand prize for his efforts. The show aired Aug. 24. The victory, he said, imbued him with an even greater determination to see that his barbecue sauce is distributed nationwide.
     “I’m planning a 10-city tour that will start Oct. 25. Houston (Texas Southern University’s homecoming game) will be my first stop,” he said. “I’m going all across America: St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas, North Carolina, New Orleans, Montgomery, Ala., Atlanta, Nashville.”
      The pit master also pointed out that he’s purchasing a bus to carry his team on the road. Of course, he will have in tow a big smoker that he built with a catwalk.
      “The girls will dress up in nurse uniforms. And I will dress up in a doctor’s coat and stethoscope,” said Nolan, who plans be in character as the Dr. of Barbecue.
      “I’m at the top of my game. I’m good at what I do. I’m a fulltime barbecue guru. And my blood bleeds barbecue,” he said. “My dad used to say, ‘Son, don’t brag if you can’t back it up.’” But then he added, “Bragging ain’t bragging as long as you can back it up.”

      (For more information about Nathaniel Ray Nolan or his “World Famous Dr. Barbecue Sauce,”call him at 901-314-5596)               

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