The Takeaway: San Antonio Pitmaster Brandon Peterson on Breaking From the Texas Barbecue Norm – San Antonio Current

Name: Brandon Peterson Job: Pitmaster and Owner, Bandit BBQ Birthplace: Lubbock, Texas Years in food service: Six Big impact: In February, Peterson will open his new barbecue spot inside Southtowns Freight Gallery, 1913 S. Flores St. Money quote:While touring [in rock band the Umbrellas], I got to try things from just about every state. I draw influences from all over the place.

Tell us about your background and how you got where you are?I moved to California to play music, but I eventually started cooking and teaching myself how to cook. I would call my mom and grandparents to learn how to make things, and I quickly decided to try my hand at barbecue. I eventually started catering company. I was looking to open a restaurant [in California], but the opportunity arose here, and we were looking to make a change. I took the leap of faith and moved here with my wife, my 21-month old daughter and our three pups.

Did you go to culinary school or are you self-taught?Im self-taught. I couldnt find the food I wanted in California, so I learned how to make the things that I wanted to eat.

Whats the best part of your job?The best part of this is making people smile through good food and connecting people. Hopefully well be seeing the same faces every week.

Whats your favorite ingredient to cook with and why? Probably brisket. Brisket is one of those things where some people can do it and some people cant. Its one of those things that, when you put the time and patience, you end up with a really great product at the end.

Whats your secret weapon at work?Apple cider vinegar works its way into a lot of recipes. Its good for everything, apparently.

Who was the mentor that had the biggest effect on your career?My mom is always trying to one-up herself, and both sets of grandparents were very good cooks. My grandpa on my moms side did barbecue catering. Wed sit out and make brisket together. My spicy barbecue sauce is based off his original sauce recipe. Its about 60 years old. Thats the sauce I grew up eating.

Whats next for you? I plan to open Bandit BBQ sometime in February.Well be open for breakfast and lunch, or until the meat runs out. Well have tacos and biscuits and sandwiches, with brisket and pulled pork available.

What are some unusual things that people can look forward to eating?Some of the things I do are not the Texas barbecue norm. Ill be doing smoked tri-tips, which is kind of a California specialty that Ill be testing out.My mustard-based barbecue sauce was inspired by my trips through the Carolinas. While touring [in the band], I got to try things from just about every state. I draw influences from all over the place. Its not necessarily a Texas thing, but people really dig it.

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The Takeaway: San Antonio Pitmaster Brandon Peterson on Breaking From the Texas Barbecue Norm - San Antonio Current

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