UK BBQ Mag Autumn 2016 - Page 43

I was kindly invited along to a ‘secret BBQ’ event by a local butcher at a secret location in Aberdeen one Friday night during the summer of 2013. As we made our way to the hidden spot in a leafy suburb of Aberdeen there was much talk about what we were going to experience.

Andy Gordon who organised the event introduced us to a colourful Hawaiian shirt-wearing chap called Marcus Bawdon who already had the BBQ fired up. Marcus was full of enthusiasm & his passion was evident. He had a variety of food/garnishes all prepared ready to BBQ & with the offset smoker already slow cooking some ribs & the big man got to work on his perfected craft.

The initial chat was pretty dirty. Dirty this, dirty that. Dirty steak & dirty baste...

What was this guy on about??

As Marcus continued to explain he started making up his own recipe ‘Dirty baste’ A chimichurri type of concoction made up of rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, anchovy, lemon zest/juice, good quality oil, salt & pepper – all whizzed up and set to one side all ready for the main event.

There was much talk about meat quality, cuts of meat, hanging & aging. Being passionate about all of the above the excitement levels increased all around in anticipation of tasting my first dirty cooked steak.

The secret to dirty cooking steaks (aged ribeye) is to get the coals glowing white / hot as possible, place the steak dry & unseasoned directly onto the hot coals and leave for a few minutes untouched then turn over & apply the dirty baste, cook for another few minutes then take off of the coals and allow to rest. A process called the ‘Maillard Reaction’ happens here. The Maillard Reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned foods its desirable flavour. This happens best at high heat…Mmmmmmm!!

I was blown away, a flavour rocket to planet taste had launched, why had I never tried this before?? Over the space of the summer, much time was spent with Marcus learning the craft. We just had to bring this style of cooking to the people of Aberdeen.

I had run a little restaurant (35 seats), which gained 1AA rosette for 5 years and at this point fine dining was slowing in Aberdeen. We decided to rebrand & the Adelphi Kitchen was born – Aberdeen’s first charcoal cooked meat & seafood smokehouse. Marcus was involved at every stage & it was clear he had taken our little adventure on as a personal project.

We researched what type of smokers/BBQ’s to start off with & David Hughes of Thuros helped get the fire started…. literally! The dirty cooked concept had hit Aberdeen. Working with local butcher John Davidson we settled after many tasting sessions a 35 dry aged local beef ribeye. It was an instant hit! Our menu was made up of Ribeye, chicken, hanger steak, Loch Fyne oysters, Fresh Langoustines & the list goes on…..

Within 2 months we were inspected by AA & maintained our rosette. The Adelphi Kitchen has really gone from strength to strength, winning lots of awards & pretty much retaining our original kitchen & front of house teams for nearly 3 years. The Adelphi Kitchen is special to us all & wouldn’t have been born had I not been invited to meet BBQ Marcus.

Chris Tonner

Managing Director of Beetroot Restaurants Aberdeen

@FoodieBeetroot

The Adelphi Kitchen

www.theadelphikitchen.co.uk

CUE Barbecue & Bar

www.cuebbq.co.uk

When Dirty Cooking Came To Aberdeen

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