White Man Named Black Is BBQ Hero at Party


August 25, 2013

On the occasion of Larry (Lorenzo) Silverton's 88th birthday, his daughter Gail hosted a small gathering at her Valley Village home where, as a bonus, his 25-day namesake great grandson made his first family party appearance. But, while both Lorenzos were showered with affection, they were not the only subject of effusive praise. Joining them in the glory was hired gun chef Eric Black who prepared a classic feast of barbequed pork ribs, beef brisket, beans, potato salad and  cole slaw that had everyone muttering accolades between bites. 

Black, who is white, and perhaps best known for wearing a bright red t-shirt to the Watts Towers earlier this year, is a former cook at Mozza. Black's passion is barbecue and the spread he put out at Gail Silverton's demonstrated that deliciously . The pork ribs were meaty, tender and smokey, the holy trinity of a good rib. Plus his sauce, Chicago-style he said, was outstanding. I didn't even know Chicago had a sauce, but damn, I ate a couple spoonfuls like it was a soup. 

Black said he cooked them at his apartment in Monrovia in a smoker for four and a half hours before finishing them off at Gail's backyard.  (It should be noted the Monrovia Fire Department received seven false alarms from Black's neighbors during the cooking period)

Black's company is Ugly Drum and he makes "small batch" barbecue, available for private parties and other such events. This is what he says on his website https://uglydrum.squarespace.com/#our-team 

Erik founded Ugly Drum to have an excuse to do what he does anyways...make sausage, smoke   brisket and cook more food than he can eat.  He's worked with Joe at Los Angeles restaurants for over a decade including Campanile, Literati 2, Osteria Mozza and The Spice Table.

Erik's chef de cuisine is Joe Marcos, a mixed martial artist wanted in several countries including his ancestral homeland, the Philippines, for assault.  This man is armed and dangerous so do not attempt to apprehend, but rather call the National Security Administration.   

The Ugly Drum website paints a different portrait of Marcos.  

Joe has been cooking in some of the best restaurant kitchens in Los Angeles for many years.  Besides BBQ, Joe has a real passion for the rustic and honest foods of Spanish tapas.  Last year he created a tapas bar pop-up -- "Bar Plancha" --  where he served inspired Spanish small plates at The Spice Table in Downtown Los Angeles. Great BBQ and great Spanish tapas share the same ingredients of simplicity, tradition and fun. 

The Drum might be Ugly , but the ribs are delicious.


Nancy and Eric Black, who, you may notice, has white smoke coming out of his head.  

Nancy and Eric Black, who, you may notice, has white smoke coming out of his head. 

Nancy can't even wait for a photo before she cuts in.

Nancy can't even wait for a photo before she cuts in.