The Story so Far.......
  • Posted 16 May  2019

The Story so Far.......

Where to start! Well I guess it starts back in 2006 when our much younger selves travelled to Denmark to the Roskilde week long music festival with a group of friends. We had a fantastic week and have often reminisced on it since. It is rare in life to have fond memories that centre around food but Liam couldn’t forget a big feed of meat he had while there!! There are even photos of himself and an old friend getting stuck in!!

Fast forward to 2016, one wedding and three children later and life had changed significantly! Whilst we were looking through some old pictures, the meat from Denmark came into conversation again!! Liam said “I’m telling you this is the next big thing, smoked meats, wait till you see it’s going to be everywhere in the next few years”. At this point I honestly didn’t know a thing about smoking meats or American BBQ. In fact, the first day I sat to research it I had never even heard of Brisket which seems funny now as it’s the name we eventually chose for the business! That aside, I felt Liam was definitely on to something and so we decided to throw caution to the wind! Caution, and the deposit we had put aside to buy a house of our own!! We knew it was a gamble but decided we didn’t want to look back and wonder what if, or get a pang in our stomachs every time we passed that new BBQ place in town in a few years.

Liam is a classically trained chef with more than 18 years experience in the industry. From the start he was really excited at the prospect of expanding his skill set and learning something fresh and new! We wanted to do things the right way so buying a rig and fumbling around trying to figure it out was never an option for us. We wanted to learn from the masters of BBQ. With that in mind we focused our search Stateside to Texas! When we found BrisketU and had a chat to Mike we knew we were in good hands.


Brisket Boss; Blog Post

 

Texans take BBQ very seriously and are very passionate about it. This was apparent before we left the airport in Houston! On arrival at Customs and were asked the purpose of our visit, The customs officer kept us talking about BBQ for about ten minutes! We could see a lot of irritated and impatient people behind us wondering what was going on!! He explained that BBQ is either really really good done right or really bad in the wrong hands. We learned this first hand during our trip. He also gave us some tips on the best BBQ spots to visit in the city during our trip.  He was spot on!

In addition to our training course, part of our mission in Houston was to try as many BBQ places as we could! That first night in Houston we were so excited to get out and try BBQ Texan style…..the thing we had come to Texas for! We both ordered different cuts and sat down to tuck in. And....it was awful!! We were so disappointed and I definitely questioned our choices. Nevermind I thought, the guy at the customs gate did warn us it can be really bad if not done right, hopefully we were just unlucky with our restaurant choice.


The next morning, we were heading off early to meet Mike and Scott from BrisketU. We had arranged for a private course covering every aspect of Texan BBQ from theory and practical operation of the rig, smoke flavours and meat pairing, butchery and procedures for different cuts of meat. We had such an amazing time! Our training took place in a traditional Texan Dive bar which added to the authenticity of the whole experience for us!


The BrisketU team were so informative and gave us a really comprehensive training. When the moment of truth came and it was time to taste the cook I was really nervous, this was it for me, if this stuff tasted anything like the food we had in the restaurant the night before I honestly think we wouldn’t be here today. Thankfully, that was not the case. Everything tasted amazing!! I definitely breathed a sigh of relief! We didn’t visit another BBQ spot that night as we were absolutely stuffed to the gills. We had learned so much in fact that we knew what had gone wrong with the cook we had sampled the night before at the restaurant - way too much mesquite wood which overpowered the food and cooked with an imbalance of charcoal:wood which created a white smoke; this results in a burnt taste.



We returned to Galway with a wealth of knowledge and the confidence we needed to drive our vision forward! There was just one problem……any of the smoking rigs we had seen Stateside that we felt would be a good fit for us would cost us as much to import as they cost to buy. This worried me for a while but I have learned through this process that there is always a solution to any problem!


After researching a bit, we came across BBQ Mates in Essex, UK. They had some amazing, slick and cool looking rigs which were exactly what we had envisioned! We decided pretty quickly that we had to have one of these rigs! We commissioned our custom rig and were told it would be ready to pick up in ten weeks! This put poor Liam under quite a bit of pressure! He needed to do driving lessons for a towing license and pass his test before the rig was ready to pick up. Needless to say, he was really nervous the day of the test. He needn’t have been he passed with a perfect score!



We spent three days travelling by car across to Essex and back to bring the rig home to Galway. Nerijus of BBQ Mates had the rig sitting outside the premises waiting for us when we arrived to pick it up. My stomach did a flip when I saw it and I think that was the moment that things became real.  The rig was absolutely huge and I found it very intimidating. I will admit I was quite scared that day! We, well Liam to be honest, has gotten to know the rig very well and we have become good friends since! It was masterfully built and makes Liam’s job a lot easier.


Liam spent the next number of months getting to know the rig and experimenting with different blends of spice rub and woods. Friends and family were well fed taste testers for that time! We finally got ourselves up and running in August 2018 and haven’t looked back since! The next hurdle is to put Brisket on the map of the Irish food scene. It’s a challenge undoubtedly but we are having such an amazing time in the process that we will keep going!

-Dee