Walter Anderson knows his way around a meat smoker. For 30 years, he’s been enamored with the smells, the tastes and the process that go along with making food all people will enjoy.
It’s something he fell in love with at an early age. Though he grew up on Chicago’s south side, his father—originally from Arkansas—taught him when he was young how to create a tender, fall-off-the-bone style meat that the Southeast has boasted for generations.
“We learned how to do down-home smoke,” Anderson said, “with big city flavor as a twist.”
Anderson is bringing his expertise back to Holidazzle this year in downtown Minneapolis. You can find him at Holidazzle on Thursdays through Sundays from Friday, November 23 through Sunday, December 23. Walt’z Wings and BBQ are serving dry-rub ribs, savory wings, rib tips and his wife’s creamy, thick mac and cheese on Thursdays from 5-9 pm, Fridays from 5-10 pm, Saturdays from 11 am-10 pm and Sundays from 11 am-7 pm.
You’ll smell that savory barbeque 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 you’ve had before.
Anderson has the skill that comes with being a certified pit-master. While he started Walt’z Wings & BBQ last year, he’s had the training and the experience that made this splash onto the Holidazzle scene swift and impressive.
“I started going through [the pit-master process] as a young teen,” he said. “To 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 can’t buy.”
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.
“Then, you have to have the proper equipment, and a whole lot of patience and time,” he said. “Slow smoking is the best smoking.”
Being part of Holidazzle is a special way for Anderson and his family to enjoy the holiday season together while helping put smiles on people’s faces through this comfort food craftsmanship.
He said Holidazzle is a Midwest tradition he’s proud to be part of.
“Even though I was raised in another part of the Midwest, Minnesota has become my home,” he said. “Holidazzle means so much to so many people, it’s nice to be part of that.”
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.
They’ll be waiting for you to come and enjoy some of their ribs or mac & cheese down at Holidazzle throughout this month.
“As we like to say, ‘Walt’z Wings wants to spread the love through food,’” Anderson said. “We want people to have a good meal that makes them happy, and that they want to share with their families as well.”