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Jonathan Erickson

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BBQ and .NET: The Best of Both Worlds

May 12, 2010

During the work week, Donald Williamson is the mild-mannered director of product marketing for GrapeCity/FarPoint, a developer of spreadsheet, reporting, and analysis components and tools for the .NET platform. But when the weekend rolls around, Donald turns into Don Williamson, Barbecue Dynamo.

And not just your average beer-swilling backyard burgermeister, but a real prize-winning barbecue bon vivant. While I'm a country mile from being a vegan, I'm not much of a meat eater either. But I'm here to tell you: Don's recipes, rub, and sauce are something special.

Clearly, the man takes his barbecue seriously. So seriously, in fact, that several years ago he launched Williamson House to market his original barbecue stuff — red sauce, vinegar, dry rub, and assorted accourements. Everything but the ribs themselves, in other words. Where I started this past weekend was with his Rib Kit, which includes a package of his own special blend of dry rub spices, a jar of his red sauce, and detailed instructions for barbecuing baby-back ribs.

Not that I needed his instructions at all, especially after watching his YouTube video titled How to Make Restaurant Quality Baby Back Ribs. I did what the man said and the ribs turned out as tender and good as — or better than — he promised. They were really, really good, thanks to Don's recipe, spices, and sauce. Apparently, I'm not alone in liking Don's rib recipes. A few years ago, the Williamson House Rib Kit received a Scovie award, the barbecue equivalent of a Jolt award.

Come Monday mornings, Don goes back to being Donald and the world of software development. That's okay, too -- having the best of both worlds. One suggestion from me, however: After chowing down on a platter of ribs, be sure to wash your hands before coding on the keyboard. You can thank me later.

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