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Did Parade's Barbecue Cover Rip Off Texas Monthly's?

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Photos: Texas Monthly,

Over the weekend, Texas Monthly editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein (among others) called out Parade for the cover of their recent barbecue issue on Twitter: "Speaking of things that will not stand, this @ParadeMagazine #bbq cover looks AWFULLY familiar. And I mean awfully." The tweet was picked up by a number of barbecue insiders, including Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn and SFA president John T. Edge (who contributed to the Parade issue). Below, tweets that jump the gun and the full response from Parade.

And indeed, both Parade's barbecue cover and Texas Monthly's June issue, an update of their Texas Top 50 BBQ list, feature a blue tray overloaded with smoked meats from Austin's Franklin Barbecue. There are also differences, obviously: most notably, Parade doesn't use the main gimmick of the TXMo cover, writing the magazine's logo in barbecue sauce. Parade food editor Sarah DiGregorio calls any similarities "coincidental," telling Eater pitmaster Aaron Franklin "presented us with this beautiful display—and we shot it as he presented it."

It is also worth noting that covers for print magazines are usually shot well in advance of printing: the TXMo cover first appeared online on May 13 and Parade's was posted late last week. In any case, DiGregorio says next time they're in Austin, they'll treat TXMo to barbecue. See Parade's full response below.

Great barbecue clearly makes creative teams think alike. To illustrate this Sunday's Parade cover heralding the golden age of barbecue—a story in the works for months—we spent a day shooting at Franklin Barbecue. When we asked Franklin pitmaster Aaron Franklin to put together a tray of the offerings available at his restaurant that day, he presented us with this beautiful display—and we shot it as he presented it. We didn't have a food stylist or a prop stylist on the shoot.

The similarity is purely coincidental. But we at Parade are humbled that our cover does bear an unintentional resemblance to the cover of one of our country's finest magazines. And next time a Parade staffer is in Austin, the barbecue is on us.

Back in May, Parade caused some controversy when the magazine used a silhouette of a Nazi battleship to illustrate a military food feature. Who knew a 12-page insert magazine made up mostly ads could get into so much trouble?

· @JakeSilverstein [Twitter]
· All Barbecue Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Franklin Barbecue

900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702