“A strong restaurant concept is essential for success. Barbecue can be a great addition to your concept but can also be an entire concept on its own,” Joey explains enthusiastically. “There are so many possibilities for food professionals: from hot- to cold-smoking, wood flavoring, open-fire grilling and slow-cooking… I could go on for hours!”
Curious about all the secrets Joey has up his sleeve? Keep on reading!
Flavors that go beyond meat
Meat. The number one ingredient people associate with barbecue. "That is indeed a great shame." Joey doesn’t just use the barbecue for meat, but also for fish, vegetables, freshly baked bread, stews, and even butter! “Smoked butter is really easy to make, but the flavors are out of this world. Just imagine what you could do with all these new flavors on your menu, it’s mind-blowing!”
Let’s start with the essentials: the right equipment
In the ‘land of BBQ’, the options are endless. Which type of barbecue fits your restaurant best? And what brand offers the highest quality? "It depends on what you want to do. Choose what's best for your idea: will you use an open fire or a big smoker for slow cooking?" If versatility is what you’re looking for, I’d recommend a Kamado.”
In the end, lots of restaurants decide to combine barbecues to maximize their options. “It sounds great, but always keep the amount of covers you serve in mind. As different barbecues have different sizes, they won’t all have the same capacity.”
Joey Buys loves advising foodservice professionals on how to incorporate BBQ into their day-to-day business. “From inspiring chefs to come up with new menu ideas, to helping them with the lay-out of the kitchen with one or multiple barbecues and training their kitchen staff. It makes me happy when everything comes together!”
BBQ stories that boost your guests’ dining experience
You get it; using the barbecue can uplift your dishes. It’s a no-brainer, really. But did you know that you can do so much more than just create flavor?
“It’s all about storytelling, and that starts with your menu,” Joey explains. “Explain which techniques you used, right there on your menu. It gives people a sneak peek at how you work, and guests love that.”
The new sommelier in town: the Barbecue storyteller
But you can take it even further. Storytelling is a perfect tool to take your guests on a journey.
“For example, explain to your guests how you smoke paella with orange-flavored wood, as is traditionally done in Valencia. Or smoke some Iberico ham on the same holm oak that the animals used to graze under. It’s those stories, told right at your guests’ table, that add a new layer to your dishes and their restaurant experience as a whole.”
Nowadays, most stories focus on wine pairing. But why not create a story about barbecue techniques too? “Try positioning your barbecue so that your guests can see it, by show-cooking on an Ofyr, for example.”
Feeling overwhelmed by all your options? Struggling to mix different methods for making exciting meals every evening? “Try fine-tuning your mise en place. If you slow-roast a chicken or a beautiful cauliflower in advance, you’ll only have to reheat it when dressing the plates during service.”
You can’t say ‘barbecue’, without saying Joey Buys. He is the owner of ‘The BBQ Experience Center’ and Smokin’ Flavours BBQ brand.
He knows everything about grilling, steaming, slow-cooking, and more. And his recipes? Smokin’ hot, as they should be.