Riding the waves of smoky ecstasy
I like anything that’s easy.
Easy meals. Easy hikes. Easy friendships. Easy jobs.
And because I’m more than a bit of a show-off, I love easy attention.
In an effort to get the story right, let me back up a titch. I don’t know how it happened, exactly, but Jack started becoming a mini celebrity with his wood-smoked brisket about a year ago. First he was just smoking meats at home for parties. Then he was smoking meats for other friends’ parties. Then he started hosting BBQ raves called “Seattle Brisket Experience” at breweries and event spaces around town. And now, he can’t toss a dead side of beef without having someone film him or write an article about him or tweet the Word of Jack to the world. Somewhere along the line, Jack became an underground food celebrity in Seattle. And he made it look so easy!
I mean, I can put on a chicken suit, throw money into a crowd, and sing an Adele hit at the top of my lungs, and one or two people might glance in my general direction, but they’re not gonna stop and even wonder, What up? (in fact, they’ll probably just run). But not so Mr. Brisket King of Seattle! He pops some cow parts in one of his now many big-ass smokers and everyone wants to write about, celebrate and eat his meat.
So, during last night’s SBX9 (Seattle Brisket Experience 9), I sat at the front door checking in guests, making sure to casually mention that I was Deirdre, Jack’s wife.
And like that, people’s eyes would light up and some would even HUG me. Did you read that? Perfect strangers would HUG me just because I was the wife of a man who can smoke a brisket. HUG.
I actually don’t get it. I know some of his fans are from Texas and they’re homesick for the authentic food of their childhood. Some are just urbanites who like them some ‘cue. But they like it enough that when they meet someone attached to Jack, they hug them. I find it totally fascinating (and a little creepy). I cannot imagine what it’s like for movie stars’ partners or politicians’ significant others.
Anyway, last night’s SBX sold out in two hours. After many many cries of despair from fans who couldn’t get a ticket, Jack planned a second SBX two weeks later – and that one sold out in 60 minutes! Then, when Jack stepped up to the cutting boards last night to start slicing meat at the oversold event, people literally ran to the line. Grown men ran to get in line.
I think now would be a good time for Jack to start a religion.
If you haven’t been able to get a ticket to one of his parties (they always feature local musicians, Texas side dishes, and people who are just really friendly), despair not. As we speak, Jack is putting together a team of investors to purchase the old Bogart’s on Airport Way and open a joint that will always be home to brisket fans, party peeps and homesick Texans!
And may I offer deep thanks to all of Jack’s friends who stepped in to help cook (Larry, Claudia, Damon, Orson, Michael, Leslie and Abby), and those who helped set up, serve and clean up (Michael, Mikey, Mike (really, it’s three different people!), Lindsay, Carter, Abby, Jim and Adabel), and Rose, for being the first happy face that our guests encountered as they checked in.
Featured above from left to right: Jack breaking into the evening’s first slice; Rosie greeting guests, who check in and get their “ticket” – an oversized plate big enough for a pound of meat and numerous sides; MoonGirl entertain the crowd as they patiently await their ‘cue; servers join Jack on the line and the hungry guests beat it to the long (but rapidly-moving) line; brisket; a loaded plate (from a choice of brisket, ribs, sausage, pulled pork, rib tips, remoulade cole slaw, Texas caviar, corn pudding, white bread, jalapenos and pickles); vinegar pie; happy guests, Jack thanking happy guests ; and more happy guests.