Hugh Mangum was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He ate his way through the city with his Texas born father and Bronx-bred mother. A self-taught drummer, Hugh toured the country with bands such as The Wallflowers and A Perfect Circle. Life forever changed with the passing of his beloved father in 1999. Hugh took a break from music and moved to New York to attend The French Culinary Institute. Midway into what was to be a year-long stint in NY; Hugh met and fell in love with Laura, his future wife, and decided to make New York home.
In 2001, Hugh graduated from the FCI and was sent to see Greg Brainin at Jean-Georges. He worked one shift and was offered the job on the spot. Still traveling to LA on weekends for music gigs, Hugh declined the job but spent the next 9 months staging with Mr. Brainin. Shortly after moving to his wife’s hometown in Bucks County, PA Hugh was hired to consult on the opening and recipe development of Smoking Lil’s in Doylestown, PA he quickly became their executive chef and pit master. Hugh describes his bbq style as “Texalina,” which is a cross between the authentic Texas BBQ he grew up with and the eastern Carolina methods he learned from his wife Laura. “My true approach is simple,” Hugh says. “I’m trying to source the best quality ingredients and not fuss with them too much, cooking the old school way, with wood and time”.
In 2011, Hugh joined the ever expanding and wildly popular, Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, New York. He set up a Mighty Quinn’s booth with hopes of feeding some friends his signature barbeque. He came back the following Saturday with a loyal following clamoring for his fare. In winter of 2013, Mangum opened a brick and mortar location of Mighty Quinn’s BBQ with his partners, Micha Magid and Christos Gourmos in New York City’s eclectic East Village. The restaurant has received a plethora of accolades and was featured on the cover of the Village Voice and Time Out New York. Pete Wells declared in his 2-star NYT review, “The pulled pork is the only one in town that doesn’t make you embarrassed for New York. It is staggeringly good”. Since, 2013, Mighty Quinns has opened seven new locations in New York as well as Taipei.
Not willing to give up his love of performing, Hugh continues to play drums for several bands and has appeared in the highly acclaimed film, “Julie and Julia” as well as The Cooking Channel’s “Cook Like an Iron Chef” with his mentor, Michael Symon. Hugh also won his episode of “Chopped” on The Food Network. Mangum currently splits his time between New York City and New Jersey with his wife and 3 children.