Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Congats MacDaddy.

Terry turned in wings........on his first ever entry at MIM..........placed 7th. 7TH!!!! Unreal! Congrats MacDaddy.


On Sunday night after we loaded in our tent on the river at Memphis in May we were sitting at the Fox & Hound having dinner. Carey tells me if I care to to do the "exotic" category for MIM. Alligator, Caribou, Ostrich............that's all yesterdays news. Had to get something different and do something different. Somehow I found Kangaroo & Yak meat. I decided against the Yak meat. It shipped in on Wed. to Mom & Dads house there in Memphis. I decided to do a beef wellington version of Kangaroo.......Kangaroo Wellingtons. I called my buddy John McNeil to get his two cents. John was able to let me have some veal demi that he had made up. I wanted a wine sauce using a Shiraz/Syrah. He gave me instructions on a sauce using that demi as a base. It turned out unreal. Then he gave me his thoughts on the patte' filler. I found some wild mushrooms and made my patte' with shallots, herbs, butter, balsamic, lemon juice and I threw in just a few raisins with it..........beat those up in a food processor and WOW was that good! So John McCall & I spend most of the morning prepping this out to bring down to the tent to construct and cook it there. Turn in time is 2:30. We get there about 12:45.......walk in the tent and there is nowhere to cook this because everything is in use. Leave it to some ol' boys from Corinth, MS to come through for you. Tom Underwood from "Pigs-R-Us" came down to the tent to see if we had any celery. I asked Tom if he had some cook space......he said "hell yeah we'll fire one up for you". We fired up a small cooker he had on his trailer. While we were waiting for the coals to get the temp up to 425* to bake this thing in me, John & Robbie started constructing this Kangaroo Wellington. We put it in @2:05 which is almost not enough time to get the pastry around the meat baked so I added some more coals, opened the vents up a little and got that cooker to 450*. Now that's a little too hot but I had no choice cause I was runnin' out of time. As you can see the wellington to the left had already started to burn some. We got it out at 2:28. Robbie boxed it with some lettuce and all 3 of us started sprinting for the turn in tent. The way we were dressed we looked like the guys from that early 80's movie "Chariots of Fire" running to the tent. We made by about 15 seconds. We came in 22nd out of 70 odd teams. I was a little pissed at myself because I let us run out of time to do the presentation right. I am sure that the creativity and the taste was there to place top 3. Maybe I'm wrong but I felt really, really good about this. I think we got docked points for presentation and also I think that the pastry might have gotten soggy on top due to condensation in the Styrofoam box waiting its turn for the judges to taste it. Also @2:28 with 2 minutes to go and I cut it open the flakes from the pastry went all over the lettuce bed......looking like Harry Carey leaned down and shook some dandruff off over it. So I've learned a little lesson on turn in time and to make sure you give yourself enough of it! Thanks to John McNiel for the guidance and creative help and thanks to John McCall and Robbie Lundy for all the help that day......really appreciate it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Random shots & ruminations

Thursday night was a big party...........There was an ice luge that Rip conducted which was very cool. Athens distributing donated Jim Beam Black, Voxx Vodka, etc. for Rip to pour down peoples head-holes on that ice luge. Friday afternoon we had a Bourbon tasting which was very cool & informative. Friday night the Lobel boys (Evan, Marc & company) grilled MASSIVE steaks. I'm talking about 3" thick prime strips & fillets that were dry aged 6 weeks. Lobels is one of the sponsors and without question the most prestegious butcher in the country, maybe the world. Check them out also, Mitch Gallant from WoodSmoke Provisions
is widely considered as having the best cold smoked fish in the country. Mitch fed us salmon, trout, oysters, was unreal! The pics show you some of the times on friday night.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Progress baby......progress!

Man......I'm sitting here thinking as to "where do I start"? First off without sounding like a beta-male pantie waist I really met some great new friends during this last week. The entire team .....and listen, I mean entire (well except one guy with an Ole Miss hat on.......nothing to do with my family going to Mississippi State either....serious!) team was great. Dave, John, Terry, Robbie, Rip, Dresh, B. Ham, Evan, Dudley, Applegate, Mitch, Jessie, Mark, Frank.......I could go on for a while. Great human beings.......really great! Of course I am assuming you know that Carey and I were already friends and that my opinion of him is very high..... what a great guy he is! Carey/Dave directed the team to 17th in shoulder. Out of 75-odd teams.....coming from like 50th 4 years ago.....thats great! What you need to know is that competition "Q" is A LOT different from backyard or restaurant "Q". I dont have time nor do I feel like explaining right now the why/how..........but it is two different worlds. They really did a great job! I have so many blogs to catch up on so I'm going to leave it at this because I want to match the blogs with the pics.................but I have to say that I really didnt expect to really enjoy myself this time around because my last go around sucked ass. Nothing against John Willingham........because that was an "old" team, etc. but these boys were great. Everyone did their share......especially Terry, Dresh, Carey, John & Dave.....they worked their ass off. Great guys.........really great guys! The picture above is Carey spewing some of his legendary bullshit. Being my 1st year on the team I was pretty quiet on my bullshit ability. Those of you that know me well know that I was blessed with an incredible ability to add on 15-20% of fabrication to any story.........which we all know is the art of a true really good story teller. Carey is in my league and the picture above is Carey spewing pure fabrication from the P.A.. It was artistic! As you know I could not blog 3-4 times a day down there like I wanted to because of the lack of what I'm going to do is re-blog with all my pics over the next few days to catch you back up. I'm looking forward to getting back to the Joint tomorrow (Lord Willing). a non rectal pluggin kind of way..........I've really missed my guys.........Bo, Marteen, Raul (and now Emily)............looking forward to getting back to the pit and the kitchen!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tennessean Article

Well we were blessed again with another article in the paper. The article ran on Monday when I was in Memphis. Here is the link:

if you have trouble with the link its because I am a computer dumb-ass and cant do something as simple as linking an article. If you have this problem then just google "martins bbq+peg leg" and it should bring it up.


We're right across from the press trailers and they have all the wi-fi blocked with secure im not going to be able to update as much as i had planned. Came home last night to get some things done today and to check in on the joint. I've got to submit my plans about building the deck off the front of the Joint to the city. I've also got to give drawings to the welder I've got to build a trailer. I am in charge of cooking the "exotic" category. I have shipped in some Kangaroo and Yak meat. I've got a few ideas for each one but have not come to a conclusion as to what I'll cook. The pictures are of the view on the river and of the 5 of us that went down on sunday. Carey and Dave are sitting down. They formed the team 4 years ago after spending a decade on "Hog Wild". John, Terry and myself are behind them. I've got to pick up John McCall tonight in Henderson and then head back to the river. Everything really picks up tomorrow.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Memphis in May

Well.......we're here at Memphis in May for the world BBQ championship. I'm with Carey Bringle on the Peg Leg Porkers. I am hoping to blog quite a bit this diary mode. There may be a couple of posts per day with pictures (if I can figure out how to load them on this computer). Yesterday Me, Carey, Dave, Terry & John all met about 5:00 to set up our tent and space. Got Careys cooker loaded in. I havent cooked here since 1998 when I was with John Willingham. I swore then I would'nt do this again......for several reasons. MIM has an almost "Mardis Gras" type feel to it. 95% of the people that make up all the teams are here to party and get wasted. Now I said most people, NOT all! When I was on Johns team there were a lot of guys on the team that just did not want to work. You look around and there is 20-30 men standing around and only 4-5 doing any work. After about 3-4 days of that you can get pissed off real fast! That year I stayed up with the hog all I got no sleep....which is fine because I expected that. I also expected to be able to get a few hours that saturday morning, but that didnt happen. After a breakfast at the "Green Beetle" off Beale St. I saw that John and the 2-3 other guys needed all the hands they could get because the other 25 were just going to drink, so I stayed to work. No sleep, 98* degrees, 95% humidity, 25 lazy fat ticks sitting around doing nothing but farting and drinking screwdrivers & beer........then to make it worse we got docked sanitary points from the judges because John didnt have his gloves on when serving. We came in 4th!!! Boy I was pissed, then to make it worse a couple of judges came by to tell us we would have won whole hog had we not lost those points. Then I was really pissed! All that combined and I said no more! At the end of the afternoon my buddy Bryan Chandler was helping John clean up......he wasnt even a team member! It was pathetic! John is a pretty good guy and I hope to see him this week but the rest of the team that year as a whole was lazy and it got really frustrating. Careys team is not like that. He has guys who want to work! You either pay to be a working member or you pay a higher fee to be on the team but not work, a social member. Careys team is sponsored by Lobels, Jack Daniels Black Label and a few others. I'm really looking forward to this and hope we win! Unlike the Kansas City BBQ Society, which is the other sanctioning body for bbq competitions MIM can be a little political........I'll get into that later this week. Stay posted......this will be fun!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Biz is better.......go support Mothership BBQ.

Quick post here, more to come later today/tomorrow. Mothership BBQ is hitting a few bumps in the road here and I'm calling on any & everyone to go out and support Jim Reams and his place. Any place that is owned & operated by the owner we need to support. You can go to his blog ( and read up on whats going on with him, he's been pretty matter of fact as to what he needs. You may not have $50,000.00 to buy in to him but you can buy lunch there. Every little bit helps. Last week was even slower than the previous week. Slowest week of sales since January. My food reps kept telling me not to worry about it because everybody was slow because of "spring fever". Well that was easier said than done when you've seen the past 3 weeks do a swan dive off the Natchez Trace bridge. They were right, or so it seems. This week has been back on the track we were before this little 3 week bump. We've done really well this week so far. Lord willing today and tomorrow will be big, if so we'll be back around that $8200-$8500 range for the week. Unsolicited catering requests have really picked up. My plan is to really start beating the streets here in a couple of weeks for small -large catering jobs. If we can add another $2000.00 a week in catering it will really bring some comfort to things. The issue now is spending more money on catering equipment. I'm looking in to a competition style bbq trailer larger events. That will cost some pretty serious $$. We'll see, I need to get to work. I'll be blogging again later on, we've got a new person on board. The picture is just a random shot of my grandfather, Pa-King, with his two brothers on each side of him sitting in front of our pit in Mississippi. Not a dadgum thing to do with this post, I just felt like adding a picture today.

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!