Bucky's Bar-B-Q owner Wayne Preston honed his craft at a young age, spending boyhood afternoons in his father's meatpacking plant and Wednesday nights preparing suppers for his local church. Word about Wayne's saucy ribs and pulled pork spread shortly after he founded his own roadside barbecue stand, forcing him—like the barbecue-sauce barons of years past—to expand his operations to new frontiers. Today, each of Bucky's four locations fashions heaping plates of never-frozen Boston butt, tender chicken, and St. Louis–style ribs in the traditional country style: hand-rubbed with secret seasonings and slow-cooked over a smoky fire of hickory chips. Three housemade sauces garnish slices of juicy meat served alongside traditional sides of baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes. When they aren't dishing out meals in the restaurant, Bucky's tireless staff serves parties, formal events, weddings, and flash mobs as large as 1,500 people with fully catered barbecue feasts.
Wayne shares his more than 15 years of barbecuing expertise with aspiring grill masters during in-depth classes offered at his Roper Mountain and Donaldson Center locations. Students not only learn the art behind sauces and rub but also get to eat their class materials.
Falderal Winery welcomes guests into the oak-study tasting room twice a month to expound upon the scientific miracle of fermentation. Instructor and vintner Paul Kovacich, a native of the terroir of western North Carolina, wields his experience at Thistle Meadow Winery to aid the public during fermented endeavors. Paul's class covers the winemaking process, from the addition of yeast to bottling to making labels out of cartoons from the New Yorker. Reservations are recommended, as the winery caps classes at eight students.