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Big Earl's BBQ Fills Opening Left by Morales with Ex-Mission Chef

Big Earl's BBQ Fills Opening Left by Morales with Ex-Mission Chef
Jackie Mercandetti

Looks like Big Earl's BBQ, chef James Porter's home of "old school 'Q" in Old Town Scottsdale has found a replacement for Tony Morales, their pitmaster since January who left last week to focus on Desert Smoke BBQ, his business of signature sauces and spice rubs.

Chef James Fox, who worked with The Mission's Matt Carter and also spent some time in Mexico as a private chef, started at Big Earl's last week.

"His role will be more of a sous chef than pitmaster," says Wendy Porter, public relations representative and wife of James Porter. "He's got great restaurant experience and an exceptional palate."

Porter tells me Morales left on good terms and gave them sufficient time to find someone new. Big Earl's BBQ will continue to use Morales' signature sauces and rubs.

"A great cook can cook lots of things," Porter tells me. "We'd love for him [Fox] to put his thumbprint on some things at Big Earl's."

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