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How We Stayed Inspired At Custom Culinary

Tags:  BBQ  |  Innovation  |  Our People

The weather has been a bit strange this year, in our opinion, but the sun was out over the weekend and a new barbecue joint was calling our name. Most years, this one included, summer brings the itch for barbecue so good it can span across styles, regional preferences, and still leave the table full and satisfied. Do you have a favorite spot? We wanted to build our list, so we set out and hit a couple between drops of rain in Atlanta, GA. Not only seeking a meat-fix, we were also on the hunt for sauce inspiration and show-stopping sides that meet the protein head on.    


First up, we made a stop at Heirloom Market BBQ. They’ve been around awhile and have hit many “where to eat BBQ” lists in their steady rise to fame. They’ve conquered the meats, for sure, and bring the sauces, sides, and accompaniments to play. Standing room only, little room to park, and lines out the door, we made our way and found ourselves holding plates loaded with smoked wings, brisket, spicy Korean pork, and Mac & Cheese. Then we went back for more to experience their take on Tacos, because you know, we’re always on the hunt for a flawless version. They delivered their interpretation of a Latin/Korean/Southern BBQ mashup loaded with Kalbi Marinated and Smoked Short Rib, Kimchi Slaw, Cilantro and Jalapeno on corn tortillas. Other standouts were the housemade kimchi pickles, the sweet & spicy tofu served with kimchi soy-ginger sauce and collards made with Korean Miso and Smoked Turkey Breast.

Full, satisfied, and energized by their lineup of sauces, we pressed on to a new player in the south, Wood’s Chapel BBQ. The plan was the same—inspiration. It’s a hard job, folks. We walked in and joined a mix of couples, families, and groups gathered at communal tables after placing their order at a counter. And we had a hard time choosing—Smoked Wings? Brisket Tacos on handmade flour tortillas? BBQ Celery Root Banh Mi? Cue-bano? We ordered it all, filled a round of ramekins with their various sauces, and played a round of cornhole as we waited anxiously. It was worth the wait. Extra credit for the bits of pork rinds on the chopped whole hog and deviled eggs. Double points for the pie tokens which you return to the counter when you’re ready for your slice. And a high five for the creative takes on classic items, like beet & jalapeno coleslaw, smoked pork belly fried rice, and “hog mop” to pair with the chopped hog.

Now our work begins. We will likely take a peek at our Harissa Infused Coleslaw while we’re at it and see what a swap or two might do, perhaps a housemade kimchi or the addition of various miso varieties. Maybe we’ll play with our current Cuban-inspired recipes and see if we can add to the list, starting with the Latin Pulled Pork Cuban Sliders.

After all of that is done, we’ll predictably smoke fire up the smoker and taste the combination of our Latin-Style Citrus Chili sauce tossed with smoked wings followed by a smoked brisket tossed just the same, loaded in a soft tortilla and piled high with pickled red onions, freshly sliced avocado, cilantro, and leftover sauce. Surely you can’t blame us. Or should we try out our vibrant Chimichurri Sauce again? It’s an experiment, after all, and should be a beautiful one in the end.

We have dozens more recipes to check out and more pork recipes that are waiting to meet you in your space. Plus, you can always find us on Facebook or Instagram eating our way from city to city with an appetite for inspiration and creativity. It’s an input to our FlavorIQ™ process and a step that keeps us grounded in today’s trends. We’d love your suggestions to add to our list. Or even better, join us. There’s enough to go around.


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