Hero of the Month June 2019
June 13, 2019
Each month we celebrate the weird and wonderful, from people who are key fundraisers in their community, to people with the coolest jobs. People that go outside the norm, swim against the shoal if you will, and do something fun or extraordinary.
This month with Father’s Day coming up, we want to introduce Christian Stevenson aka DJ BBQ. A devoted Dad, epic BBQ expert, author, and all round nice guy. We were introduced to Christian through a past Hero and ITV BBQ Champ winner Simon Dyer. We are proud to be shortly stocking Christian’s latest book “The Burger Book” in our stores. We caught up with DJ BBQ to learn a bit more about the Dad behind the BBQ.
How did you first get into BBQ?
I was raised by my father who grew up in the Midwest state of Iowa, his father was a pitmaster. These two men loved their BBQ and taught me the way from the age of 6.
Can your recipes be recreated on gas or electric, or would you always say charcoal is best?
I prefer charcoal but all the recipes can be cooked using gas, electric or lumpwood outdoors, or even an oven grill indoors. Our latest Burger Book was written for indoor and outdoor cooking.
What did you do before you became a BBQ guru?
I used to produce and present a TV series called RAD for Channel 5. We travelled the planet filming skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and BMX. I also presented the evening show on Kerrang Radio.
You work with your friend T-Bone, can you tell us a bit about how you met and how you work together?
T-Bone Chops and I were consultants on BBQ champ. He was the home economist and I was the Fire/BBQ expert. This is where we got to hang with Simon Dyer, the man who went on to win the show.
How did you get to be consultants on BBQ Champ?
Lauren Abery was a producer on the show. She and I worked on a couple TV shows and for Jamie Oliver's production company. She knows more about food than anyone on this planet....apart from T-Bone Chops. Lauren asked me to help out and I was happy to oblige.
How do you juggle your busy life with your 3 boys?
It ain't easy. Luckily for me, my oldest son, Blue helps out a lot. I also have a crew of close friends that live super close that I can rely on in an emergency.
They must love your cooking, are they all BBQ experts too?
They are great cooks. The youngest, Frasier (age12), is excellent at working the grill. His lamb chops are the best. Blue works with our crew on the festival circuit. He can cook an amazing range of food.
How long did it take you to perfect the recipe for your ultimate DJ BBQ Burger?
The Ultimate DJ BBQ Burger is a solid recipe but we are always learning and striving to be better.
Do you have any unusual guilty food pleasures outside of BBQ?
Oh gosh, the filet of fish at McDonalds.
How do you come up with the amount of incredible and different recipes for your books?
I travel a lot and have spent time living in various parts of the world. I love watching how different cultures cook with fire. I'm also very fortunate to host the main stages at Taste of London, Meatopia, The Big Grill, and Ludlow Food Festival. I get to interview and cook with the best chefs, artisans, and pitmasters in the world. They all inspire me.
We are stocking your latest book “The Burger Book” in our stores, do you have a favourite recipe from in apart from the DJ BBQ Burger?
My Momma's Gravy Boat Burger is one of my childhood favs. Caramelise some red onions and stick ‘em in the gravy for extra flavour and texture. The Smashed Burger is an excellent recipe and a fun one to do with the kids. Trust me.
How do you plan to spend Father’s Day this year?
Our DJ BBQ crew are heading to Sussex to teach a live fire course all-dayer with the Hunter Gather Cook crew. We do it once a year. I'm hoping my kids come along for part of the day.
What is your ideal weekend?
My ideal weekend is spent with my boys and dog. If we can have more than a weekend, we like to go to Burgau, Portugal to surf and hang with loads of friends. We do a yearly cookout for the Surf Experience (oldest surf school in Europe). Can't wait for the next one.
A huge thank you to Christian for being our hero this month, and for making all our mouths water here at Weird Fish HQ. His latest book The Burger Book by DJ BBQ (Quadrille, £12.99) is out now, and available in some Weird Fish stores.