Gettin' Basted Brad Leighninger

A self-taught pitmaster, Brad Leighninger owns Gettin' Basted and co-owns Downing Street Pour House.

Brad Leighninger is a busy man. After entering the competitive barbecue world in 2012, he started a food truck, Gettin’ Basted, which has expanded into two brick-and-mortar locations: one in Branson, Missouri, and another that opened earlier this year in Nixa, Missouri.

Leighninger is also the founder and co-owner of Downing Street Pour House, which dubs itself “an American smoke and fire interpretation of the classic pub.” The original is in Hollister, Missouri, but a second, much-anticipated location debuted in Springfield, Missouri, this summer. Matt Arnall, a franchisee, will run it. With four restaurants, Leighninger says quality is still paramount. The self-taught pitmaster devours cookbooks the way others do novels or newspapers – he’s even writing his own. Here, he shares three that keep him on his game. 

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman (1998)

“[How to Cook Everything] is an encyclopedia of how to make this or that with different techniques. It has really good information. I still pull it out every now and then and read it.”

I’m Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown

I’m Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown (2002)

“It’s not just recipes; it’s a lot of reasons why Brown does [certain] things. The science of [cooking] and knowing why you are doing something – that makes it repeatable outside of following a recipe.”

Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless, Deann Groen Bayless and JeanMarie Brownson

Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless, Deann Groen Bayless and JeanMarie Brownson (2000)

“This cookbook is a great [guide] to get outside of what we think Mexican food is. A lot of times in a specific [cuisine], such as Mexican or Italian, we get caught up in the ingredients. It’s not about the ingredients; it’s about the technique and fundamental thought of food. Rick gets that.”