Manning native to appear on Cooking Channel show tonight

by | June 20, 2017 6:30 am

Manning native Howard Conyers is an aerospace engineer with NASA.
He has a Ph.D., has served as a lecturer in his field and now lives in New Orleans.
But this week, he will be showing off his culinary skills when he appears 9 p.m. today on the Cooking Channel’s “Man Fire Food.”
Conyers specialty when wearing an apron is whole-hog barbecue. The pitmaster couldn’t share too many details about his appearance on the show before it airs, but said it includes his passion for Carolina whole-hog barbecue, along with its history.
“I’ve been involved with whole hog barbecuing since I was four years old, watching my father,” Conyers told NASA, adding that he cooked his first whole hog at 11 years old, continuing to perfect his skills until he headed to college in North Carolina.
Conyers earned his undergraduate degree at North Carolina A&T State University and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science from Duke University. He later accepted a position at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and settled down in nearby New Orleans in 2009. He wanted to help the community still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
“I saw it as a way to help rebuild and give back to the community,” Conyers told NASA. “I made the decision to accept the job at Stennis partially because of that opportunity.”
But on trips back to South Carolina, Conyers said he realized that whole-hog barbecue was dying.
“Ultimately, I realized it was my responsibility to carry it on,” he said.
So Conyers started cooking competitively, gaining recognition for his traditional barbecue and his story as a rocket-scientist-turned-pitmaster.
Now he’s a historian and lecturer on the South Carolina whole-hog tradition. He’s even working on a book about it.
That recognition earned him a spot on “Man Fire Food,” where he’ll show off his traditional skills, backed up by his engineering experience – like using a converted refrigerator to cook, or a burn barrel to make his own coals.
“What I do is really an art form and skill,” Conyers said. “It’s a true tradition, and I want to maintain that tradition. At the same time, I want to seek ways to improve the technical process itself.”
For more information on Conyers, go to

comments » 6

  1. Comment by Erica Epps

    June 20, 2017 at 07:42

    Congratulations! We are so proud of you Dr. Howard Conyers and ecstatic that you are receiving the hometown recognition that you deserve!

  2. Comment by Tim Hinson

    June 20, 2017 at 09:49

    That is awesome ! Dr. Conyers is a great example of how education, hard work, and commitment will lead to success in life. Combine that with being true to your roots and you can’t loose !

  3. Comment by Sharmane Anderson

    June 20, 2017 at 12:38

    Congratulations Dr. Conyers!! A fellow member of the Class of 2000!! So happy that he sets an example for so many of our youth to see that they to can be anything they desire with diligence, even a rocket scientist who’s on Nationally syndicated television!

  4. Comment by Jane Benton

    June 20, 2017 at 15:11

    Dr. Conyers,
    I have wonderful memories of you from your Manning Middle School years and your accomplishments on through Manning High and beyond.
    You were a well rounded and academically gifted student. Your drive and ambition were present then. As one of your teachers. I am so proud of your accomplishments. Maybe we can celebrate Howard Conyers Day in Manning in the next few years.
    I will be tuned into the Cooking Channel this evening to see you in action!
    Good luck!
    Your Seventh Grade Science teacher – Manning Middle School

  5. Comment by Pelesia Wilson Karsen, Jimmy and Penny Wilson

    June 20, 2017 at 17:31

    So wonderful to hear of your accomplishments! We have fond memories of Manning and Manning barbecue. Our Friend Amelia Peterson made Great barbecue! Who are your mother and father? We look forward to your show tonight!

  6. Comment by Genie Hodge

    June 20, 2017 at 21:12

    Dr. Conyers, I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. I am watching the cooking channel and happy you are keeping this tradition alive.

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