Pitmaster Christopher McGhee leaves Freedmen’s for Stiles Switch BBQ

Valentino Mauricio FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Valentino Mauricio FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Christopher McGhee has left his position at Freedmen’s and joined the team at Stiles Switch. McGhee, who also worked under John Lewis at La Barbecue, started at Stiles Switch this week.

“We’re bringing Chris on board to hopefully take us to the next level,” Stiles Switch owner Shane Stiles said.

In addittion to McGhee, Stiles Switch has also hired Doug Diechmann, former plant manager at Smoky Denmark and a 15-year-veteran of Rudy’s. The move will allow Stiles Switch to bring all of their sausage making in house.

McGhee and Diechmann join a team that also includes Lenoir chef-owner Todd Duplechan, who is partnering with the Stiles Switch team on their new concept in South Austin and is already consulting on non-barbeuce-related menu items, like the Cajun cole slaw he recently introduced to the menu at Stiles Switch on North Lamar Boulevard. With the recent additions, Stiles says he feels the restaurant has a “barbecue dream team in place.”

McGhee’s ddeparture from Freedemen’s comes just a few months after he took the reins of the kitchen following the exit of opening pitmaster Evan LeRoy. Juan Morales, a Freedmen’s employee since the restaurant opened in 2012, and Brad Robinson, who has been at the restaurant for almost two years, will jointly spearhead the kitchen.

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