Walter Anderson knows his way around a meat smoker. For 30 years, heâ€™s been enamored with the smells, the tastes and the process that go along with making food all people will enjoy.
Itâ€™s something he fell in love with at an early age. Though he grew up on Chicagoâ€™s south side, his fatherâ€”originally from Arkansasâ€”taught him when he was young how to create a tender, fall-off-the-bone style meat that the Southeast has boasted for generations.
â€œWe learned how to do down-home smoke,â€ Anderson said, â€œwith big city flavor as a twist.â€
Now, Anderson is bringing his expertise to downtown Minneapolis. You can find him at Holidazzle on Thursdays through Sundays from now through Sunday, December 20. Waltâ€™z Wings & BBQ are serving dry-rub ribs, savory wings, rib tips and his wifeâ€™s creamy, thick mac & cheese on Thursdays and Fridays from 5-9 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-9 pm.
Youâ€™ll smell that savory bar-b-que from across Holidazzle, and both the meat and the delicious mac & cheese will draw you in.
With good reason. Both are comfort foods that rival any youâ€™ve had before.
Anderson has the skill that comes with being a certified pit-master. While heÂ started Waltâ€™z Wings & BBQ this year, heâ€™s had the training and the experience that made this splash onto the Holidazzle scene swift and impressive.
â€œI started going through [the pit-master process] as a young teen,â€ he said. â€œTo become a pit-master, you have to go through all aspects of smoking beef, pork, poultry, seafood and wild game. I got an education you canâ€™t buy.â€
The key is patience and knowing the perfect process. It takes hours to smoke the meat, which is crucial to making that fall-off-the-bone tenderness, but it also is important to know the right seasoning. The No. 1 thing that makes a good rib is making sure it is seasoned well, Anderson said.
â€œThen, you have to have the proper equipment, and a whole lot of patience and time,â€ he said. â€œSlow smoking is the best smoking.â€
Being part of Holidazzle is a special way for he and his family to enjoy the holiday season together while helping put smiles on peopleâ€™s faces through this comfort food craftsmanship.
He said Holidazzle is a Midwest tradition heâ€™s proud to be part of.
â€œEven though I was raised in another part of the Midwest, Minnesota has become my home,â€ he said. â€œHolidazzle means so much to so many people, itâ€™ snice to be part of that this year.â€
To Anderson, the holidays mean family, good food and community. The best gift to him and his family is meeting new families that are coming down and exploring the park and everything Holidazzle has to offer.
Theyâ€™ll be waiting for you to come and enjoy some of their ribs or mac & cheese down at Holidazzle throughout this month.
â€œAs we like to say, â€˜Waltâ€™z Wings wants to spread the love through food,â€ Anderson said. â€œWe want people to have a good meal that makes them happy, and that they want to share with their families as well.â€