Hi folks. I wanted to take a moment and let you folks know exactly what BigIron Barbecue is, and what it isn’t.
I was raised in Memphis during the 60’s and got acquainted as a little baby with what barbecue meant. It is a way of cooking food, but more important it is an attitude and a way of life.
I can remember going into any number of little joints with my Mom or Dad and seeing all types of folks from all walks of life getting along over a plate of BBQ. Blacks and Whites ate in the same room and all you heard was the hustle and bustle, conversation and the wiping of hands.
There was no segregation at the BBQ joint because all folks were there for the same reason. It was a great time and I have many childhood memories, laced with a plate of good ol’ barbecue.
I have always liked being in the kitchen and I watched my Mom from the time I was about five years old make alot of the southern dishes you see right here on this site. As a teenager I got my first real job as a dishwasher. After a few months and management seeing I liked to cook and knew my way around the kitchen, they put me on the line. The rest was history.
I trained as a musician. I quit the cooking stuff to go play, and play I did. I was in the music business for 24 years before returning to doing what I love: making good food and barbecueing.
Do I own a restaurant? no.
Do I cater? no (sometimes I wish I did)
Do I compete in cook-offs? no…
Some folks ask why? Well, I used to really love playing music. When it became a money thing, after a while I did not enjoy it anymore. It became work. I don’t want that to happen with barbecue. I love it too much.
I love to have the whole barbecue experience the old way. You sit out at two in the morning tending your fire. Folks stop by and talk and have a drink, or you turn on the radio or just enjoy the silence. You tend your food with love and care and cook it till it’s done. You hide your watch and take it slow. No hurries, no worries. You just work quietly in the night and enjoy all of the smells of wood and smoke that rise from the pit.
You take great pride in your work because people will be eating this in a little bit. You want them to talk about it later, and you want them to talk well. That is the whole deal. To tell you the truth, eating the food is the least of my pleasures. Cooking the food is the payoff. I have never been trained by a pitmaster. I have no trophies and no cookbooks.
What I do have is a great love for where I came from and wanting people to sense the same things I did when I first tasted Memphis barbecue.
This is something I will never learn completely, I will only get further in my experience.
On the last day of life I want to know there are 5 more years of things to learn about barbecue. That way life will never be boring or mundane when it comes to the pit. It will challenge me to do what I love, and do it better.