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W.D. Stalcup

Co-Founder and Pitmaster

“I first learned to cook over a wood fire when I was about 11 years old,” recounts W.D., “I was a new Tenderfoot in a very active Scout troop down in Dallas TX.  We camped every month, over a weekend; rain or shine, hot or cold.  Our leaders were old school about the skills we learned and used.  We had canvas tents, chuck boxes and were expected to cook every meal over a fire or in a dutch over and clean up after ourselves using the same sort of '3 sink system' still required by health departments for eateries everywhere to this day.  Only we used 3 metal buckets on an open fire for that part too.

“For me it was a great adventure - a little like being a cowboy on a cattle drive once a month - the beginning of a lifelong love for wood-fired cooking and little did I realize it would lead to this new adventure nearly 50 years later.  

“I smoked my first ‘turkey for hire’ for a boss of mine while I was in college. He was so intrigued by my tales of cooking on the little water smoker my Dad got me, he ordered a turkey for his Thanksgiving dinner.  There are many more ‘stories from the smoker’ between then and now, but we’ll save some of those for the blog.

“I still love cooking on smokers, grills and in dutch ovens. That’s why I am here. I’ve cooked on a lot of different smokers and grills.  Each one has it’s own characteristics and needs some practice before you can create the kind of quality you’re proud to share.  I still get excited for every time I fire one up. I am a stickler for precision, given my background in technology. There are recipes for the food, recipes for the smoke with plenty of practice and analysis needed to get things right. I guess that’s really the allure of it - you’re never done; there is always something else to tweak; something else to try. All to share a little a fellowship over a meal and see people smile when they really like what’s on that plate.  I look forward to sharing fellowship and smiles with you!”