How do you introduce Marcus Bawdon? BBQ blogging master, nationally recognised BBQ personality (he judges at the Grillstock festival) and generally nice chap. He is also incredibly modest when it comes to what he does when he is not being a father, wife or geologist. I have a huge amount of respect for his knowledge and his infectious passion for all things BBQ.
The foodie scene in Exeter and Devon is bubbling and boiling hot; full of awesome local producers doing excellent things with ingredients; restaurants opening left right and centre. In the middle of this, a small army of foodies who share their passion through writing, photography and exuberant cheering on social media – I was lucky enough to share my visit with a few members of this army; food photographer Nick Hook, Exeter GCC Chef Ben Gordon.and the multi-talented food writer/PR guru Harriet Wild.
We were invited to Marcus’s BBQ HQ, somewhere deep in East Devon to experience BBQ how it should be experienced. Slowly cooked and smoked.
After arguing with my sat-nav, I eventually landed in a piece of East Devon that I have frequently driven through but not really stepped back to admire, it was beautiful and so quiet, only the faint hum of the motorway could be heard if you really strained to listen.
Waking through a large circular archway CWS HQ was everythuing I imagined it to be. A large garden and off to the side was a large BBQ area filled with equipment, gizmos and other bits, all designed to create awesome food.
Earlier in the day Marcus had been live on Facebook creating his Mac & Cheese Fatty, so the anticipation was right on the ceiling. What else were we going to be having?
A beautiful smoked Mocha Beef Brisket..
Mac & Cheese Chilli Fatty…
and Cherry Smoked Pork along with a big dish of CWS Mac & Cheese.
The part that I had anticipated as much as eating the food was watching Marcus carve the meat. Clustering around him like bees with cameras, and a particularly large bee with a vast appetite being me, Nick and myself both caught the essence of the meat and its texture.
We sat and chatted for a while, eating the tender meats that Marcus had prepared and sharing laughs. The rain started to spitter, tapping on the roof of CWS HQ which was shortly followed by a windfall applr banging like a gun as it hit corregrated steel and rolled down.
For dessert with had pecan smoked peaches, cooked briefly in one of Marcus’s smaller machines. The gentle smokiness really worked and with the creaminess of the double cream, sprinkled with a few pecans, it rounded off a truly BBQ’d dinner.