BBQ Life #14
For those that follow me on social media you may have seen that I am doing some work for a BBQ restaurant here in Connecticut. This is the first time I have ever worked in a restaurant. This is the story of my first day in the restaurant world.
The restaurant, Taino Prime. The head chef, Van Hurd. The only restaurant in the country exclusively cooking Snake River farms briskets. Open fire pit finishing the meat before slicing and serving. This is the second restaurant in the Taino group. The restaurant has a BBQ section a bar and eventually it will have a regular sit down steak house section serving dry aged steaks cooked on and wood grill.
My shift started at 6 am so naturally I was there about 5:45 to make sure I was there and ready. Van got there shortly after me to unlock and open up. First thing we did was load some wood into the cookers. The two main smokers are Old Hickory gas assisted units. So the meat is cooked in these cookers and then finished over the open flame on the large open pit cooker.
My next task was to start prepping the serving line. This included prepping side dishes like chili and getting them into serving pans. Then prepped the cheese sauce for the cheesy corn side dish. I was shown how to turn on all the warmers and chillers and set the serving line up.
Then it was time to check the briskets and corned beef. These had been put on the night before and been cooking all night. We check the temperature and look of them and adjusted them on the racks. Once that was done it was time to prep an load the baby back ribs. We seasoned and loaded the ribs added some more wood and let them soak in the smokey goodness. We also seasoned a huge boneless turkey breast and got that on the smoke.
Prep and setup continued with the condiment and sauce bar. This meant time in the walk-in cooler filling bottles with the different house made sauces and serving trays with things like pickles and sliced jalapenos. Soon it was time to clean up the open fire pit and get it ready to light. This also meant stacking wood to feed the fire.
Finally the time had come to get the fire lit. I built a nice little kindling pile and took the torch to it. Soon I had a nice fire built up so I moved it around to the back and spread out some coals. The large open pit is where we place the meat to finish cooking and to hold between slicing for customers. As the fire heated the pit it was time to start loading the serving line. Opening was at 11 am so I had to get the rest set up and the meat loaded onto the pit.
The time was upon us. Doors opened and we were cutting and serving like crazy about as fast as I could move the meat off them pit to the cutting board it was going out. Time that day flew by and soon the meat on the pit started to dwindle. Soon came one of the hardest parts about BBQ in New England. People here do not understand the concept of running out of something. They are used to the steak house and getting the steak and it never being out of something. In Texas this isn't a problem and people understand it. But here in Connecticut it is a foreign concept. So we had do deal with a number of people being upset about being out of brisket and ribs.
Finally it was time to clean up. We let the fire burn down as we cleaned the serving line then cleaned the grates on the cooker and shoveled out the ash. Once everything was broken down and cleaned it was time to head home. This was def a wild ride and a great experience I can't wait to continue. Thank you so much to Chris and Van for the opportunity to work and learn from you both.
Well I will see you all next month as we head into my main BBQ competition of the year and continue my journey into the world of BBQ restaurant pitmaster.
And as always #cowboyup and #keepsmokin