Bob Garner is perhaps best known as an author and as the producer and host of various food-related specials and program segments on UNC-TV, North Carolina’s statewide public television network. Garner was associated with UNC-TV, both as a staff member and as an independent producer, for over ten years before joining the North Carolina state office of AARP as Communications Director in 2000.
Garner is the author of North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time, an exploration of North Carolina’s long-standing affinity for barbecue. The book was published in 1996 by John F. Blair publishers and is now in its sixth hardcover printing. Garner is also the author of Bob Garner’s Guide to North Carolina Barbecue, a restaurant guide published by John F. Blair in 2002.
Garner now produces regular restaurant features for the program North Carolina Weekend, broadcast throughout North Carolina on Thursday and Friday evenings. In addition to hosting a popular one-hour television special of the same title as his first book, he has also been the producer and host of the following hour-long UNC-TV specials: North Carolina Country Cookin’; More North Carolina Country Cookin’; Homecoming: Food, Fellowship and Faith (dealing with old-fashioned church homecomings); and, early in 2001, A North Carolina Pig Pickin’. Garner was also executive producer and host of a well-received UNC-TV series celebrating North Carolina rural life called Carolina Countryside.
He has appeared on The Food Network’s Paula’ Home Cookin’, featuring Paula Deen, and FoodNation with Booby Flay; ABC’s Good Morning, America; and Travel Channel’s Road Trip. Garner has also been a featured speaker at the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in New York.