UK BBQ Mag Winter 2016/2017 - Page 61

to work on?

SE: That’s really great to hear. It was a ton of fun! The book designer, Anita Mangan, is as bonkers as us and loved searching through the thousands of photos from our road trip to bring the book to life. Our publishers, Quadrille, have been amazingly supportive to us. They loved the authenticity of what we do. We firmly believed that we had to try as much BBQ in the States as possible if we were ever going to do a decent job of it ourselves and have loads of fun along the way. Quadrille were very excited to help us to tell our story.

Are you working up any new ideas or recipes for the smokehouse?

SG: All the time. Everyday something is tinkered with, created, improved. Sam and her team of chefs treat the kitchen like food lab and are always trying to innovate. We make everything ourselves and do our own butchery. From grinding our own burgers daily, to sausage making, curing and pickling meats and vegetables. It’s really important that we control every step of the process as it allows us more scope to adjust various elements to improve our cooking.

SE: We’ve been playing around with Gaucho and Asado style cooking over the summer, inspired by Francis Mallmann of course. We’d love to do more of that next year. Patagonia in South America is a place dear to all Welsh people. We have a cultural connection there as any Welsh settlers moved there in the mid-1800s and theres still 5000 people that speak Welsh in the Chebut province today - so the place is calling to us to visit!

How are you finding all the equipment you installed at the smokehouse to cook on? any plans for upgrades or improvements?

SE: We’re pretty happy with what we have for now. We mainly cook on FEC120s and our own smoker that we built ourselves, BB King. He’s can sometimes be found out the back of the restaurant taking care of smaller smokes such as chicken and sausage and he’s what we use when experiment with new cuts of meat, vegetables and rubs. We see FECs as solid, reliable machines that only use woodsmoke, which is important to us. As with all smokers, you have to learn how to use them. We picked up some great tips from FEC users in the States that turn these from ‘press button and leave’ smokers to actually producing barbecue that tastes like it’s been smoked in a 50yr old cinder block pit. When we do our street food and festivals, we take BB King with us plus a whole host of ProQ Elites, which we love to cook on.

SG: Lemmy, our custom built Parilla Grill is proving a big hit too (We call him Lemmy as he’s 940kg of heavy metal!). The taste of our steaks and burgers off that grill is incredible and we love cooking with live fires.

So with all this cooking commercially, do you still find time to cook BBQ at home? and if so what do you like to eat?

SE: Cooking at home usually involves adding hot water to something dehydrated at 1am! We’re workaholics so are rarely home these days except to sleep. It’s fun for us to do all our experimentation in our restaurant with the team. It’s great having people to bounce ideas off. As we mentioned earlier, we’re inquisitive people, so we’re always questioning what we do and look to improve our cooking through learning together.

What next for Hang Fire?

SE: We’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many great chefs and cooks since starting this little business. Next year we’re going looking to take the restaurant back to our roots and holding more ‘pop-ups’ and kitchen takeovers there. We’re going to be working with some big names in both the restaurant and barbecue world to develop some unique cooking styles and flavours - all fused together with a smokey twist of course.

SG: Also, ‘more restaurants’ are always a discussion on the table. I’m not sure we’d want to ever create versions of the Southern Kitchen, so we’d look at creating something different but with Hang Fire DNA. We have a ton of ideas up our sleeve, nailing down one is always our problem! We’re also looking forward to plenty of festival appearances next year. Our lively outdoor cooking demo’s went down a storm this summer, and have been invited back to do more next year. Sam and I will also hopefully find time plan our Patagonian adventure to immerse ourselves in some Welsh-Gaucho cooking and connect with her ancestors in South America.