Hello my friends and thanks for stopping by! My name is Chris, I’m a food blogger, pit master, and BBQ enthusiast living in Reston, VA. From my earliest memories food has been a passion of mine. In addition to my culinary endeavors I’m an aspiring food photographer and food stylist. Cooking, food photography, recipes, and travel… it all comes together in this blog. Now sit back, grab a glass of your favorite bourbon, and enjoy the “About Me” section of this food blog!
Back to where it all began
My father (Mo Sussman) was a restaurateur in the Washington, DC area from 1979 – 1994. He owned a string of steakhouse’s named Joe and Mo’s. I grew up working in his restaurants and spent time at every position. I started in the back of the house cleaning dishes, prepping food, and cooking on the line. Eventually I worked my way to the front of the house busing tables, serving guests, and tending bar. When it comes to food service I have done it all! My love for the hospitality industry never went away and I have continued to find ways to increase my food and wine knowledge over the years. My father passed away in 2014 and my continued journey is dedicated to him… “Cin Cin”!
Why The BBQ Buddha
My passion for cooking and specifically barbecue is about the journey not the destination. In a crazy late night conversation back in 2014 I said to my wife “I am like a Buddha on a path to finding the best BBQ”. The very next thing out of her mouth was “you are The BBQ Buddha”… and at that moment I knew my path had just begun… but this time as The BBQ Buddha!
Smoking & BBQ
The summer of 2009 I made a wonderful discovery. A friend of mine had a BBQ at his house and smoked a pork tenderloin on his Weber grill using an indirect heating method. I had never seen such a thing… what was this magic technique I asked him! He walked inside his house and came back out to hand me a book by Steve Raichlen, BBQ USA. This book opened my eyes to a whole new world of BBQ! I was hooked and began to learn about indirect grilling methods including smoking. From there “Mrs. Buddha” got me an 18″ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker for Father’s Day and that began my journey in to smoking meats and true barbecue.
I spent the next 4 years working on my craft and smoking everything from Brisket to Salmon. I used various wood combinations, spice rubs, and perfected several BBQ sauces. I was ready for the next level and wanted to move in to Kamado style cooking… specifically The Big Green Egg. I didn’t have to wait long and once again “Mrs. Buddha” got me the BGE for Father’s Day in 2013 and I haven’t looked back…
Blogging, Pictures, and Recipe Writing
I stumbled in to the Social Media world by accident when I started to tag my food pictures with various Big Green Egg tags. From there my Instagram Account took off and I was getting requests for my recipes daily. During my 2014 holiday break I decided to create a blog to share my recipes and my journey with you. When I got back I started thebbqbuddha.com in January 2015 and have posted 200+ recipes since that time. Some of my recipes and photos have been featured on sites such as: MSN Lifestyle, Huffingtonpost Living, Cut Out & Keep, Thrillist, and Foodgawker. In addition, I was interviewed for the Man, Meat,BBQ Podcast in December 2016.
My Culinary Point of View
I cook the BBQ staples featured in KCBS competitions: Brisket, Pork, Ribs, and Chicken. I enjoy cooking those classics and keep learning new techniques in order to improve my BBQ game. But what I really love to cook is Asian inspired cuisine. I get excited by the flavors of Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and China, working them in to my recipes when and where I can. Fusing the influences of the Far East with traditional BBQ is a fun challenge for me and one I continue to refine.
Festivals and BBQ Competitions
I have cooked at Eggtoberfest, Dizzyfest, and several mid-Atlantic BBQ festivals. I am an active member of the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) and plan to field my own competitive BBQ team in the near future.
I have had the best time since starting this blog and look forward to working with the many friends I have met and cooked with in this business. I want to thank you for taking the time to visit my site and to read about me. I hope our paths cross one day as I continue my BBQ journey. So, until we eat again… thanks for visiting my blog!