Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ryan Odette's guest blog

As I mentioned in the previous blog I had asked Ryan Odette to guest blog to fill you in on their experiences here. Here it is:

Last week my wife Tina and I traveled to Nolensville, TN to meet Pat Martin who had invited us to his BBQ joint. I had sent a letter asking if he would be interested in teaching us about southern BBQ. Pat and his wife Martha welcomed us like old friends. As did their friends John, Mandy and Fred McNeil (thanks again, everything was stupendous).

Pat taught us different methods of preparing and serving BBQ while he showed us around Nashville. When we finally got a sample of Pat’s we were about five sandwiches into our BBQ taste test, and we have to say not much compared before or after.

We drove to Memphis for the last two days of our vacation; Pat arranged a tour of the joints where he learned to cook in his 1st college town of Henderson, TN (he later transferred to Lipscomb University in Nashville) with his college buddy Burt Williams. Let me tell you that the ‘cue in Henderson is definitely old school! Both Pat and Burt are amazing ambassadors of Tennessee. While Memphis and the tour on the way was great we enjoyed our time in Nolensville much better; I guess it is true what they say one of the delights of life is eating with friends, new or old.

The reason for the trip was to learn a style of cuisine but it turned into a friendship that hopefully lasts a lifetime. I think I have some deep feelings for Pat Martin (in a non-“root” sucking kind of way, as Pat puts it).

Just want to add a big “Welcome to the World Daisy Elizabeth!!!” and I can’t wait to meet you and your brother, Wyatt (who was very sick and not in the mood for company while we were there), next time. Thanks again Pat, Bo, Ward, Martin and Raul for taking the time to teach a couple of Canadians about Southern BBQ.

See You Again Soon,
Ryan and Tina Odette

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

McNiel Culinary Institute, The Odettes, Daisy!

Man......what a blur!!!!! Last week was so busy that I didn't have time to do anything but work, eat with Ryan and Tina Odette and get ready for our new little girl Daisy Elizabeth. I am going to give you a quick mention of what the week was like but I have asked Ryan to guest blog this week about everything in detail. He should have his post to me in the next couple of days so I'll save our experiences with each other for his story. -Something about that verbiage that doesn't sound very "alpha-hetorosexual", but you get the idea. Ryan and Tina got here last Sunday about mid-afternoon. They met us at John & Mandy McNiel's house in Green Hills. John & Mandy are such wonderfully kind people and are so hospitable! Mandy has allowed John to turn their kitchen into a classroom a few times to show me some things. John is an incredible chef who spent several years in New Orleans. Without mentioning names let me just say that his resume (where he worked and who he worked for/with) is VERY impressive! When we make our roux for etouffee, gumbo etc. it has been taking us forever so this past Sunday John showed me how to speed that process up without sacrificing quality. He also showed me how to "retrieve" the roux if it breaks with a Beurre maniƩ. I'm practicing! At any rate, Ryan & Tina met us there . We left their house FAR, FAR later than we should have but we all had a great time that night and I really learned a lot from my time with John. Thursday we had a scheduled C-section at 8:00am. Daisy Elizabeth Martin was born @8:10. Man is she beautiful! I could just go on and on and on about her but I'll save you the proud father ramble. Wyatt loves her......he is a little rough with her though......he likes to poke her eyes, gouge her nose, etc.. The pictures are Daisy with my Uncle Mike and Dad holding Wyatt as looks at Daisy. She is a real blessing......the good Lord has really blessed us! Sales were down some this week. It made things a little stressful on me. My food reps say its because of spring break.....that makes sense.....I hope they are right! We also had to pay Feb. sales tax so that really stung. This week may be the same because spring break is still going on for some schools. Lord willing things will pick back up in the next week or so. Ryans post should be up in the next day or two.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

An honor!

About 2 months or so ago I got a letter in the mail from Ontario Canada. It was from a guy named Ryan Odette. Ryan is the Chef/Owner of Mamo Bistro ( in Ontario. He found me via a website called where I have posted a good bit on BBQ (instructions, advice, etc.). is THE website that anyone involved in the restaurant/food industry visits on a daily basis, from a celebrity like Wolfgang Puck to a nobody like Pat Martin. Ryan wrote me to inquire about coming down for a week to work for free to learn the art of authentic BBQ. Hey, paid help is hard enough to find so free help, even for just a week, is a blessing. I'm looking forward to him getting here, there are some things I plan on picking his brain about too, so it should work well for both of us. Ryan and I have spoken about 2 or 3 times. I have really no earthly idea about his tolerance for the offensive nature of our kitchen. I'm hoping he'll fit right in our kitchen of two rednecks, a black guy, a "dread-neck" and two mexicans doing nothing but spewing vulgarity, anger and insults at each other during the "rush" Bo says, its a pirate ship in there. Thursday I'll be gone though, we have a scheduled C-section thursday morning for our new little girl Daisy Elizabeth. Lord willing everything will go well (keep us in your prayers).

Friday, March 02, 2007

Update & New Beers

O.k. I'll start off with a complaint.........the lazy freakin' people who don't throw their own trays out as they leave. They must think that the 3 gargantuan garbage cans I've got in there are for decoration....and they are huge so its not like they don't see em'........Ronnie Milsap could see the things if he were there! No, its just some are lazy ticks that need to go back to TYCO University (Throw Your Crap Out). This post could be so much more colorful if my wife did not monitor it! That same "University" should be TYSO, but I digress.
We got our spring/summer beers in yesterday to go along with the old standards and the redneck can beers. I'll carry those until about Halloween (Lord willing) and then swap out for porters, stouts, etc.. The picture shows just how they are seen in the Joint. We stuck the can beers on both sides of the "Redneck Angel". I found her at an antique store and bought it for $ is a ceramic angel (with wings!) holding a baby angel draped in a rebel flag. We thought it fitting to stick that with the redneck can beers. We picked up local favorite Yazoo Dos Perros & Pale Ale. The owner is Linus Hall and he's from Mississippi where my family is from so I had have that in his beer is awesome. We also picked up:

Red Seal Ale (identical to Fat Tire)
SweetWater 420 Pale Ale
Terrapin Golden Ale
Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale
Highland Gaelic Ale
He'Brew Genisis Ale (certified kosher!)
Abita Purple Haze
Schlitz (can)

We dropped Lone Star because DET Distributing never had it in. We also dropped Schaefer because it was not selling too well - yeah its a stunner I know! Actually the other can beers are all selling right in line with bud/miller light, etc.. You cant get those beers everywhere and when guys see them I think it brings back some fond primeval memories of wrenching on cars, driving backroads with your buddies in school, watching a game with the ol' man.....whatever it is but its like once they lay eyes on them it becomes their duty to order one! Its fun to see the misery in the eyes of the woman that guys can see her mind doing advanced "gastro-math". Here is the Martin/Collier formula:

Pork + Slaw * White Beans/Onions + 3 Stroh's = replacement of bedroom oxygen with pure sulfer leading to limited breathing and general lack of sleep. Thanks honey!

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!