Another New One from California

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Original poster
Hiya Everyone!

Even though I'm a Cordon Bleu graduate, ex-caterer & pastry chef, I am completely new to the realm of smoking. Culinary school only had a very short course on Charcuterie and smoking, I never got any hands-on experience with it.

Anyway, after 20 years of visiting my father in Houston and spending each trip trying to find the most perfect BBQ out on the road, I figured it was time to bring it home. Sadly, really great BBQ is lacking here in the San Fernando Valley.

I've been reading the forums, and I think I'm ready to give my first try with a brisket tomorrow. I'm excited to finally give it a try!
Hello and welcome from another Californian.

If you ever are in Southern Orange county, Try Bad To The Bone in San Juan Capistrano. They have great ribs in diiferent stlyles, hush puppies, fried okra and moe.
Good luck on your learning curve!
Thanks, Richoso :)

We used to have Chuy's, which had pretty good tri-tip, but they closed about 2 years ago. There's a few others that aren't too bad, but they're not anything like what I've had out of state.
Welcome aboard. Look forward to you bringing you expertise to the forum. This is the place to ask all your questions and you'll be up to speed in no time. Look forward to hearing about your smokes and looking at all the Q-views of your smokes.
Welcome tothe SMF!
Welcome from the central coast area. Have fun and looking to hear about your adventures.
Welcome to SMF JavaMaven1. Good Luck with that brisket. If you have any questions during the smoke pop in and ask away. Someone will usually get you an answer pretty quickly.

Keep Smokin
Welcome to SMF from a Canadian.
Good luck on your brisket (remember to be patient especially when it plateaus!)
Also you should sign up for Jeff's free 5 day ecourse.
He also has some other free downloadable info that is very useful.
Welcome to the SMF JavaMaven1. Let us know how your Brisket goes and remember we love pics!!
Glad you found us!!
glad to welcome another californian to the best smokin forum there is. shareyour experiences im interested to know why you are an x-caterer as i am thinking about it as a new sidejob.. wilcat
Wow, thanks for the nice welcome, everyone. My I put my brisket in at the crack of dawn, and it's been going... okay. I'm having issues with maintaining temperature, and it's really more because it's just a learning curve with me, trying to find how open/closed the vents need to be, etc. Still, it smells delicious, and I'm bringing it in to work tomorrow, so my cow-orkers can be my guinea pigs.

As for your question, SALBAJE: the reasons for my being an "ex-caterer" are many. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to cook, culinary school was one of the best times of my life, but the restaurant/catering business is difficult at best. I busted my butt for several years, making only a few dollars above minimum wage, with no medical insurance, working weekends and holidays--I got to see my husband on Monday & Tuesday nights, as our schedules could never match up. I did find a fantastic job with a catering company (and I would have stayed until the day I died, if I could), but the owners ended up moving out of state. And, funny how these things happen--3 days after that job ended, I found out I was pregnant. So, now I have a family who is my first priority, and the whole cooking biz is on the back burner for a while. My in-laws own a restaurant, and I've occasionally had to show up to help out for a big party, but other than that, I'm happy where I am right now.

I wish you luck on starting a catering business! If you have questions on how to expand recipes, or how to plan for particularly large parties, feel free to ask. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.