Heralded as the first truly authentic venue of its kind in Dubai, The Blacksmith Smokehouse is due to open at Wyndham Dubai Marina in January.
Manhattan-born pit master Orelle Young made a name for himself at BBQ institution, Hill Country NYC before moving to Big Easy in London and finally arriving in Dubai.
Young, who has been a pit master for 10 years, explained his all-encompassing role to Caterer Middle East: “In every respect of the word it’s a title that’s earned. A pit master is someone who has dedicated their lives to smoking. Commercially speaking, it’s the person behind the meat at the restaurant. From picking the cut, ordering, making the inventory, creating the item on the menu and smoking it at the end. And it doesn’t stop at smoking it. Getting it out is just as hard, if not harder. There are a lot of things you have to pay attention to. The textures, the time, the hotspots in the smoker. So by definition, a pit master is a person who understands the meat.”
For Young, BBQ is about making something out of nothing: “You’re not looking at a short rib or a brisket as a gourmet cut of beef. However, the short rib that you’re going to have at Blacksmith is going to taste better than any rib eye or filet mignon that you’re going to have at a five star dining experience.”
The short rib, which happens to be Young’s favourite cut, will take centre stage at the 148-cover venue. Young says: “The short rib is going to be the big ticket item on the menu. Just the sheer size of it (750g). It can definitely be a sharing dish with two or three friends eating family-style. That’s the culture and tradition of BBQ, bringing people together.”
Enthusiastic about bringing the concept to the region, Young added: “When you enjoy doing what you do, it doesn’t feel like a job. It doesn’t feel like I’m 10 years in. Every day is new to me. I’m travelling and doing what I do best.”