New Film Charts the Legacies of Two Barbecue Legends

The documentary Full Circle explores the culinary greatness of Rodney Scott and Roscoe Hall.

Rodney Scott's BBQ
Photo: Andrew Cebulka

While the Southern Foodways Alliance had to postpone its Spring Symposium due to the coronavirus pandemic, they're releasing a new film that was set to premiere in Birmingham, AL, at the annual event. Full Circle: The Ballad of Rodney & Roscoe features two of the South's most influential pitmasters, Rodney Scott and Roscoe Hall, both of whom were raised in the barbecue business and are shaping its future.

Scott is the founder of Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston, SC, and Hall, the grandson of the founder of Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa, AL, manages the Birmingham location of Rodney Scott's restaurant. "Both men now carry forward a legacy of African American knowledge and labor," said John T. Edge, director of the SFA. "This is a story about generational transfer, black entrepreneurship, and the future of barbecue in the Deep South."

What becomes clear right away is the deep admiration Hall and Scott have for each other. "Rodney is … he's going to be in the books," says Hall. "This is a force right here. The knowledge he's instilling throughout the United States is some of the hardest and oldest ways of doing anything."

Scott, who opened what we consider one of the 40 most influential restaurants of the past 40 years, introduces Hall just as lovingly. "Me and this guy hit it off when I found out his culinary background," he says. "Roscoe brings the beauty to it, that art to it, that makes it unique and somewhat of a fine barbecue."

You can watch the 15-minute long film below, or on the SFA website.

Scott, who is opening a new location of his restaurant in Atlanta, knows that the future of barbecue depends on its past. "To be honest with you, I am still totally not aware that I'm apart of this movement," he says. "But when I see the future of barbecue, I see pits. I see fire. I see wood burning. I see my style of barbecue."

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