Hi, my name is Joseph Barbour – Certified Barbecue Nut – actually…
Certified Food Nut.
I love most foods, but barbecue has a special place in my heart. It’s truly a great American tradition.
Let me explain…
I’ve always been around great food; both my mother and grandmother are fantastic cooks. My Dad can even get in the kitchen and whip up a few things. He’s makes a mighty fine apple pie!
I was a little spoiled as a kid, when it came to food. And even though we didn’t have a lot of money, there was always something good to eat.
You never forget the taste of great food. Once you have something fantastic, it’s hard to go back. That memory sticks in your mind. Sure, you can go to Mom’s and she’ll cook you up something nice, but when you have a family, you need to take care of yourself.
So I decided to start cooking. And boy, sometimes it didn’t turn out too good!
But eventually, with persistence, I learned.
I was so crazy about it, that after many years in the automotive business, I quit my job and decided to go to culinary school.
I graduated from The California Culinary Academy, in beautiful San Francisco, California.
After graduation, I worked at very nice, high end restaurants like the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, in lovely St. Helena, and Julia’s Kitchen at Copia in Napa.
One of my first jobs was at the Waterbarge Restaurant in Vallejo California. I worked there with Chef John Coss.
While the Waterbarge wasn’t a “barbecue restaurant”, (it was more of a “destination restaurant”, making fresh, gourmet dishes with local, seasonal ingredients) we did have some barbecue dishes on the menu.
We made pulled pork sandwiches. The chef loved smoked chicken and we used it in a lot of our dishes. I made all the sausage's for the restaurant and even had Bruce Aidells, from Aidells sausages come by and try them. He signed his book that we used for the recipes; “Great job, Keep eatin’ those weenies!” It was a great experience!
I love eating and making world class dishes. One thing about learning how to cook though, it can be frustrating at times when you spend a lot of money and work, and the results are less than desirable. I know what it’s like. I’ve been there. We all have.
One thing they didn’t teach me about in culinary school was barbecue. There were a few classes that taught some “barbecue recipes”, but not the real deal barbecue you get at a barbecue joint. I also learned a lot from the chefs at the Waterbarge. But the barbecue menu was limited. We cooked mainly what’s called California cuisine. Made famous by chefs like Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. This food is delicious! Very fresh, using local ingredients with the best cooking techniques and presented beautifully, but it wasn’t barbecue. I wanted to learn the barbecue repertoire.
So I went back through my culinary course books. Not much there. I went to the bookstore and bought a bunch of books and started reading. I soon realized that barbecue is unlike any other cooking method there is. It’s not grilling, it’s not roasting or even baking. It’s low and slow with wood smoke.
Then I started going online. There’s a few websites out there, and some that I like, but none that really spoke to me. So I decided that I would take my cooking skills, use what I learned from my education about barbecue and contribute to this great American pastime.
Now I live in beautiful northern California. I spend my time cooking, testing and developing recipes, coming up with new ideas and writing about barbecue. I really enjoy it because I get a great sense of fulfillment helping people create fantastic food for the ones they love. I also enjoy the thanks I get for it afterwards. And when people compliment my food…well that’s like the icing on the cake.
So I’m here for you. If you need help with setting up your smoker, questions about a recipe, cooking times, or you just want to say hi, it’s fast and easy to get in contact with me. I’m here to help.
Your barbecue partner