RW Spotlight Capt. Rob

There’s nothing like some good ol’ Southern cooking to give your wedding day meals that family feel. Meet the genius behind the grill, Rob Wilhoite, Owner and Pitmaster of Capt. Rob’s Pigalicious Barbecue Catering Inc.

Tell us a little about your company
We are an onsite-only BBQ catering company featuring Award-Winning smoked meats and southern comfort sides presented in a relaxed atmosphere.

How did you get started in this business
Growing up in my mom’s and grandma’s kitchen, I have always had a love for simple, southern comfort food. Cooking for friends and family, I have always been looking for a business that I could start that would make people happy.

What’s your favorite wedding story?
I really don’t have a favorite. We try to make each bride’s special day a memorable occasion with our menu. We have cooked in 100 degree heat and hurricanes to make sure everyone has a enjoyable meal.

Why do you like working with weddings?
We love to see the bridal group during the day when we feed them candied bacon, or pig candy, for a mid morning snack and when we fix a hot dog lunch so they won’t have to leave the venue to get something to eat. What I most enjoy is seeing the smile on the bride’s face when she gets to sit down after the ceremony and enjoy our food in a stress-free environment. It makes our 16- 18 hour day worth it.

What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?
Food allergies are number one in planning a menu. We ask the bride and groom what food issues their guest may have. Most say not to worry about it, but I always do. I try to explain to the client that they need a little something on the menu for everyone. With appetizers, we suggest 1 meatless choice. For gluten, we just tell guests not to eat the bread as everything else is gluten free. We can work with gluten and vegetarians but we cannot help vegans. All of our menu choices can be done to accommodate most wedding guests.

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
Plan early and don’t do so many menu items. Too many choices leads to a expensive meal and lots of wasted leftovers. While we give the client leftovers* some menu items will not freeze well and just get tossed out at the end of the night. I suggest 2-3 appetizers, 1-2 meats, 2-3 sides. This gives everyone plenty to eat without breaking the bank. (*Leftovers are given to client if certain conditions are met.)

How far in advance should couples book your services?
I used to say 6 months out, but now we are suggesting 8-12 months out because brides are booking so many pieces of the wedding day early.

What inspires you the most / where do you find inspiration?  
The smile on someone’s face when they eat our food. It is my hope that our food reminds the guests of when they were growing up in their family’s kitchen.

What do you like to do when you are away from work?
There is life outside of work? Well I once ran a charter boat but BBQ stopped that, so I guess I like to fish when I can and go see the Virginia Tech Hokies play football.

What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I have a college degree in turf management.