My favourite grocery store in Hamilton is a place named Nations. It’s a Chinese grocery chain, but as the name suggests, it has a pretty wide variety of international foods and a huge ready made food section. Almost every time we go there, my wife picks up a cup of their Thai Coconut Curry soup. It’s a fantastic soup – spicy, flavourful, and creamy. I was already going to be making some stock, so I decided to try making this. Continue reading
Yesterday I decided that I was going to start a food truck. I’ve had this idea floating around for a couple of weeks, but yesterday was the day I really decided that I was going to pursue this and make it happen.
Over the last few years I’ve come to realize that my current career path in IT isn’t what I am passionate about and it’s not what I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I have always loved to cook, and grew up in a mix of cultures where cooking good food for your friends and family was a way of showing your love for them, and sharing that is something I want to do. I’ve always loved working with my hands and making things, and it’s during those times that hours become minutes and I hardly notice the time passing.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I moved to Hamilton, and one of the main reasons we did it was that we had both been considering career changes, and the lower price of real estate here would make it easier for us to do that. Since we moved in, my wife has gone back to school and started a new career as a realtor, and after 9 months, is doing very well and has found something that she loves doing. It’s been inspirational to watch her take on something completely new and both do well at it, and enjoy it. Now it’s my turn.
I am trying to be both positive and realistic in my approach to this. I know how to cook, but I have no restaurant culinary experience. There is a lot of research to do, and a lot of work to do to improve my skills and learn every aspect of the business. It’s also going to take a lot of money, so I’ll be going into serious saving mode, which means I’ll be doing hardly any snowboarding this winter as I want to put as much away as I can to prepare for this venture.
Opening the truck is going to be a pretty long term goal. I would like to open next summer, but my initial research is making it look like that’s a little out of reach financially. So my goal for next summer is to do some pop up events and catering, and get some experience working in restaurants and in other food trucks. Until then, I’ll be hard at work, improving my skills, learning, and developing recipes. It’s going to be a long, hard, journey, but it’s something that I am committing myself to 100%, and will be writing about the whole process here as well.
As for what we’ll be serving on the truck? That’s still being developed, but if you know me, you’ll know that bacon is bound to show up there somewhere!
When I get into a hobby, I fully get into it, and BBQ has been no different than anything else that I’m interested in. I’ve done a lot of reading about BBQ through websites, forums, blogs, books, and pretty much anything I can find. The more I read, the more I noticed that there isn’t one specific way of approaching BBQ. There are different regional styles, different flavour profiles and sauces, different techniques, and a wide variety of different equipment that is used, all falling under the umbrella term of BBQ. I believe that reading about something is one way to learn, but that nothing is as effective as actually doing it. To that end, I’ve been trying out many different flavours and techniques in my own BBQ. Continue reading
Last weekend we went to our last BBQ competition of the year in Belle River, Ontario which was made up of 13 amateur teams, and 4 whole hog teams. This was our 6th competition of the year, and our 4th CSBBQA sanctioned amateur competition and was run by Jules from Roast n Toast BBQ and the Knights of Columbus. It was about 3 hours away from us, but luckily we were able to stay with a friend of Jeannie’s the night before which helped a lot. Continue reading
This one is for a special request by Dave from Fatty Mac BBQ. He asked for a recipe for Filipino adobo that was adapted to the grill. Being half Filipino, I’ve eaten and cooked my fair share of adobo, but never grilled. Traditionally, adobo is pork or chicken that is braised in a sauce of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and vinegar. There are countless variations, and every family has their own recipe. Continue reading
Last weekend was our 5th BBQ competition of the year, and our 3rd CSBBQA sanctioned amateur competition – the BBQlympiques in Brossard, Quebec. This was a first year event put on by the awesome people at BBQ Quebec and the CSBBQA, and it was a really well organized event that we will hopefully be able to make it out to again next year! Continue reading
Beef short rib is a beautiful cut of meat that is very popular in restaurants and growing in popularity with home cooks. It’s a tough cut with a big beef flavour and a lot of internal fat marbled throughout. I’ve made it before in a braise, and it’s one of my favourite cuts. Smoked beef short ribs sounded like they would be delicious, so I decided to give them a try. Continue reading
One of my favourite TV characters is Ron Swanson from the show Parks and Recreation. Ron rocks a killer mustache, pursues manly endeavours, and above all, enjoys meat cooked over fire. He is known for ordering “all the bacon and eggs you have”, the Turf and Turf (a 16oz T-Bone and a 24oz Porterhouse), dispatching justice to vegan bacon, and my favourite, from episode 2×25: The Swanson – a turkey leg wrapped in bacon.
A couple of weeks ago, we attended the Maitland River BBQ Championships in Listowel, Ontario. This was going to be our second CSBBQA sanctioned BBQ competition this year, and after a month with no BBQ competitions, it felt like it had been forever. The weekend ended up being a strange one, full of ups and downs, good news and bad. Continue reading