Welcome aboard the slow and low BBQ revolution. We’re Sam and Shauna, First Ladies of ‘Cue’, restaurant owners, TV hosts, cookbook authors and all-out food obsessives!
If damned tasty soul food, great music and a good ole time are your bag too, then pull up a chair and let the feasting commence!
Back in 2012, we made the dramatic decision to quit our long-standing London careers and embark on a six-month road trip of a lifetime across America to discover the secrets of American barbecue, eating at every BBQ joint we could afford, and becoming increasingly possessed by the spirit of smoke and fire with every mouthful.
After a good half year of outstanding southern hospitality, (including kipping on Dolly Parton’s drummer’s floor in Nashville!), learning secret spice rubs and listening to pearls of barbecue wisdom we’ve been instructed to ‘take to the grave’, cooking at rodeos and scoffing ribs a-plenty, we returned to the UK determined to share our discoveries and chase the dream of living this incredible lifestyle back at home.
What transpired was a journey we could never have imagined:
We started with a tiny pop-up in backstreet Cardiff pub The Canadian. With just a handful of locals initially willing to give us a shot, slowly but surely this street food foray turned into a Welsh BBQ bonanza of pretty epic proportions. Not every day was a breeze – there were grease fires and burns, dishes that went wrong and trips to A&E – but word spread, the plates of finger-lickin’ barbecue we prepared were flying out as fast as we could prepare them, and by 2015 we’d won the coveted ‘Best Street Food’ Award at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards for our barbecue.
Asides from running our busy restaurant, you can still find us with our smoky street food and demos at a number of fantastic UK festivals, showing you how to be your own bosses of BBQ, or feeding the hungry hordes.
We were finally able to open the doors to our first permanent restaurant in March 2016. Situated in a lovingly restored Grade II Victorian Pumphouse in the historic heart of Barry Docks, Hang Fire Southern Kitchen is the result of not giving up on your dream to do your own thing. Our vision was to run a small restaurant that relies solely on fresh, ethical produce – far away from the congested chain-led culinary landscape – and to create food with soul and passion.
Hang Fire offers Louisiana classics, award-winning US barbecue and wood fired steaks on Wales’ first custom built Argentinian Parrilla grill. Showcasing the best cuisine from New Orleans to Kansas City and Texas to Tennessee, the restaurant offers an authentic flavour of our original US road trip, but always features that extra special ingredient: a unique Welsh twist!
Today, we’re thrilled to be packed to the historic rafters with a gang of meat-loving friends each and every week. It always feels like feeding a big, extended family and we’re always delighted to make room for new faces so please head on down to meat us!
Series 1 of our super TV show Sam and Shauna’s Big Cook Out first hit the airwaves earlier this year. (Don’t worry if you missed it! You can catch watch Series one again on BBC 2 from Monday 24th September at 7pm.) Or catch it here on The BBC website.
The show sees us take to the road to celebrate the achievements of community champions across Wales and change the way our great nation barbecues. Using food to bring together the whole community, each cookout has us hosting a massive party to reward the work of a well-deserving variety of organisations and individuals – from a barbecuing an entire pig, Hawaiian-style, on the fine sands of our local beach with Barry Football Club, to hanging succulent slabs of juicy steak on a handmade willow dome with the Paddlers Club of Llandysul.
Each week introduces a host of smokin’ new flavours and techniques, and we also demonstrate how to recreate our dishes back at home on a smaller scale.
If the BBQ bug has well and truly bitten and you’re looking for even more meaty inspiration, our best-selling cookbook is now available to purchase from your nearest reputable book vendor.
The Hang Fire Cookbook relives tales from our USA road trip and reveals how to create our delicious recipes (with the secrets behind that all-important smoke and BBQ perfection!) We explain the basics of getting started with a home smoker and the different types of wood, rubs, cures and brines that work best with certain types of meat. Our approach is pretty simple: get the best ingredients – always locally sourced if you can – cook them low ‘n’ slow, and tuck in!
Things are about to get hotter (and smokier!) over the next 12 months. We’ll aim to keep you updated on our adventures as we hare along. In the meantime, check out our blog and if you’re grilling or smoking with one of our recipes, please let us know about it! We’re regularly to be found wittering on twitter and sharing a cheeky pic or video on Instagram, and we’d love to hear from you!