Leonard Botello IV

Leonard Botello IV is the owner and pitmaster behind critically acclaimed TRUTH BBQ. Botello opened TRUTH BBQ Brenham in a small shack off a rural highway that runs between Austin and Houston in the summer of 2015. Armed with a used Klose pit as a complete unknown in the BBQ world - Leonard surprised the industry in 2017 when TRUTH BBQ was awarded #10 on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Texas BBQ Joints list in 2017; and was recently ranked in the top 3 on the 2021 Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ List. An expert in the art of live fire cooking, Leonard is known for his authentic Central Texas style bbq dedicated to the history of Texas ‘cue, and his relentless attention to detail. Obsessed with the perfect cook, Leonard spent years sleeping next to his smokers, before heading inside to cut for the line that had queued outside.

In January of 2019, Botello opened his second location, TRUTH BBQ Houston, in the historic neighborhood Houston Heights. Here you can find Leonard pushing the boundaries of traditional BBQ with dishes like Carolina Style Whole Hog, Boudin Smoked Sausage, & Pastrami Brisket. A defining factor that has always set TRUTH BBQ apart from the crowd is TRUTH’s commitment to making everything from scratch, daily, in house. Most days you’ll even catch the sausage being made when in line to order.

Through the universal love of Texas BBQ, Leonard has had the honor of hosting dinners for esteemed organizations such as No Kid Hungry and The James Beard House; he’s been featured at New York City Wine & Food Fest multiple times, as well as appearing on Food Network’s Chopped; winning his episode. He has become a mainstay on a variety of “Best BBQ” lists from Thrillist, to Buzzfeed to Texas Monthly. When not manning the pit room and line at TRUTH BBQ, Leonard is often found cooking with friends all over the US at various food and wine festivals or starting fires and building pits in his backyard as he continues his education in all styles of bbq and live fire cooking.