UK BBQ Mag Spring 2016 - Page 34

OK, so right from the start, I need you to know that I am not a writer or journalist. When Marcus asked me to write an article for UK BBQ Mag, I thought “Great…. sounds like fun.”. But when it came time to actually doing the writing, I thought “OMG…what do I write!!?? I could ostracise the entire UK BBQ community if I say something wrong! This could be business suicide!”, and other such cheery thoughts. Anyway, I promised Marcus, so here I go. Please be gentle in your reviews… I’m a ‘virgin’…

So, many people have asked me why I founded BBQ Gourmet. Why does a guy who project manages the installation of huge supercomputers worth $100 mil+ set up a business importing & selling BBQ rubs & sauces from the United

States? The somewhat glib answer to that is “Well, somebody had to…” The real reasons go a bit deeper: “I love the taste of real BBQ”, “I’m sick of people in the UK saying a sausage burnt outdoors is BBQ”, “there was a gap in the market”, “I’m an idiot”, etc. Take your pick... multiple selections are possible.

Regardless of your selection above, a major part of BBQ Gourmet’s mission is to ‘spread the gospel of real BBQ’, and I’m starting to believe that we (not the ‘royal we’, but we the BBQ Community) are starting to get there. Just look at the number of new BBQ restaurants and street food outlets opening throughout the country; look at the growing popularity of festivals like Grillstock; just look at the rapidly growing number of competition BBQ

teams in the UK and all over Europe.

As an aside, do keep your eyes on Europe. Real BBQ has been established in the Netherlands for a number of years now, but the recent growth in Scandinavia and Italy is very impressive. The growth of real BBQ is a European-wide phenomenon, not just British.

That said, we can all do more to ‘spread the gospel’. One of the perks of my job is seeing the reaction of people, especially kids, at shows when they first taste a bit of chicken with a BBQ rub on it. Their faces light up and the kids keep coming back for more. By the way, it’s also fun watching the expression on the parents faces – you can see them thinking to themselves “at last, we’ve found something this kid will eat!!”

So here is a suggestion: next time you do a cook, take the leftovers and hand them out to your friends, your colleagues at work, your neighbours, your postman,

Spreading the Gospel…

by Richard Orme, Founder of BBQ Gourmet Ltd