Firstly if your reading this then thank you for visiting my our new website and for taking a small interest in Smoke Tin Kitchen. This really is the start of a new adventure in cooking for me and one I've been dying to do for a long time. There's so many opportunities to cook some awesome food, in a way that's really exciting, unpredictable and a whole lot of fun. Not to mention doing what I love the most, cooking huge cuts of meat over fire.
When a friend of mine suggested adding a blog to the website to appease Google (they love regular updates apparently) it did sound like a bit of an inconvenience. But truth be told I have thought about documenting some of my thoughts before in some sort of blog. Not just about BBQ and live fire cooking but on the wider kitchen and hospitality industry I've been involved with my whole working life. There seems to be an unlimited amount of subjects to write about and most people would say I'm not short of an opinion or two.
So the plan is to try and write a blog every week or maybe every fortnight depending how we go. I'm just gonna wing it and write about whatever I'm thinking about food related at the time, with the limited grammar and C grade GSCE English skills available to me (no long fancy words here, promise!). Hopefully we can document our adventures in live fire cooking and what we've been up to through the blog as well as some recipes, stories and maybe some thoughts on some of the more hard to talk about subjects that face our industry. They'll probably be some moaning when I've had a bad day too or when I'm tired but I guess that's par for the course. Some of it might actually be good for me to get off my chest.
But seeing as this is the first one and the only reason anyone might be reading is because they came to our site because there interested in what we do, then I shall start here. Setting up Smoke Tin Kitchen has been a bit of dream for a long time as I've always dreamt on owning by own business and being my own boss. Ive also wanted to get out of the daily grind of kitchen life for quite a long time too and when the opportunity to pursue this adventure came along I knew it was the right decision. In a professional kitchen sometimes it can feel like there's very little reward for hard work, especially if your not cooking what your passionate about or have little creative input. There comes a time when you just have to something for yourself.
At this point I should point out that whilst Smoke Tin Kitchen is still in its infancy I'm currently running the business whilst working a full time kitchen job. Its been hard as everything I do towards the business has to be done in between or after work. So inevitably you find yourself learning how to make a website in the small hours of the morning or squeezing in phone calls at work and emails in whatever breaks you can manage. All this made more difficult by the urge to catch up on sleep whenever you can when your not working. Now that the setting up of the business is pretty much complete I look forward to being to concentrate fully on it in the very near future.
I've always had an interest in cooking with fire. Its such a basic and primal way to cook, but one its infinitely complicated and skilful. I long felt that learning to cook with fire and smoke was really the last bit of the jigsaw for a professional chef. You learn all the classical French techniques when you first start training but no one ever teaches you how to cook with wood and charcoal. For most my age those experiences bring you back to burnt sausages and pre packed burgers at awful family "BBQs" as a kid. Cooking with fire just wasn't something that was done very often in the kitchen or even for the home cook (Yet every bloke on earth would still claim to be an expert on it). Now days chefs can't wait to get in on a little BBQ action (I'm no exception). There's been a huge surge in chefs using Josper style charcoal ovens and even restaurants building there entire kitchen around live fire cooking in the last ten years or so and that can only be a good thing. One of the reasons I wanted to start Smoke Tin Kitchen in the first place was because I wanted to master these new techniques I hadn't used in the professional world before. Long before the business started I was spending abnormal amount of time cooking outdoors on the Weber. Smoking, grilling and trying to prepare as many things as I could on the BBQ. I would read BBQ magazines and articles online and books by famous pit masters. I love learning new things anyway and the more I cooked with fire and the more incredible tasting food I was able to make the more it drew me in.
That leads me nicely to what Smoke Tin Kitchen is all about. Weather it be the food for your big day or our street food stuffed pittas. Everything is made my us, its made using wood, charcoal, smoke and fire and most importantly its made with love. Oh and it tastes pretty bloody good too. I like to think we can offer something a little bit different to most caterers, especially in the wedding market where there's an awful lot of really poor BBQ style food about which people are charging eye watering prices for. That's not to say there aren't some excellent wedding caterers out there who cook on fire because there are. Its just few and far between. (Nearly included a rant on why Hog Roasts are awful and generally cooked by people with all the gear but no idea. Maybe I'll save that for another time!).
That's why I think its a great time for this business. I think people are far more into food now than they ever have been before. When we cook for you, you see everything. You see the meat hanging above the flames, the veg on the grill and the chef shovelling the embers to where there needed. I want people to see how much we care about what were doing. I want people to ask where the food came from and I think customers and foodies do care about that as we do. Customers now days want great food and they don't want it to cost the earth. I think that's why the street food market has exploded in recent years, because you can eat really bloody well for very little. Likewise the restaurant chains are struggling because they're charging huge prices for a bowl of pasta you can make just as good at home for a couple of quid. Wedding food costs a huge amount too, not because its particularly special (I can't ever remember a great wedding meal), but because there's an opportunity to overcharge and people are willing to pay for it. That's something we will never do. I think there's a trend away from that in the wedding industry too, with many people opting for more simple wedding breakfasts and even street food vans etc. I hope as a business we can provide some really excellent food, cooked with passion and skill in a way that's exciting to watch and be apart of, but always affordable and never taking the piss. That's basically my mission statement and my promise to our customers.
I think that might be enough for the first blog. Certainly gets a bit easier to write after a few I.P.As. Hopefully if you've stumbled across the website, it looks the part and represents us well and if anyone has taken the time to read all of this then thank you again. Look out for the next blog in a week or two and any enquiries no matter how small don't hesitate to ask.