Tiffin Project

Q&A with George Siu of Memphis Blues Barbeque House

by Editor on November 10, 2011

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(Photo Credit: Brian K. Smith)
Celebrating 10 years in Vancouver this last Wednesday Memphis Blues Barbeque threw an afternoon party at their original flagship location on Broadway, inviting some of their closest friends to help devour a whole hog, some butter-soaked lobster knuckles and a few nicely paired beverages. We caught up with proud co-owner George Siu, whilst licking our fingers, to learn how it all started.

What was your first job in the industry? McDonalds at age 15 – taught me about systems and discipline.

Do you still bbq at home? Pretty much every day, rain or shine.

Give us one simple but often overlooked tip for making great bbq at home? Don’t poke the meat with something sharp – use tongs, and poke it with your finger to test for doneness.

Describe the moment you decided to create Memphis Blues BBQ.  At the airport in Memphis January, 2000 – Park, myself and our wives ate pulled pork sandwiches that were delicious; we realized no one in Vancouver was making proper Memphis style BBQ!

What has been the biggest challenge for your business in 10 years? Staying true to how BBQ is done in Memphis (no, we won’t serve whole wheat buns, or BBQ tofu!), and educating people that real BBQ isn’t boiled ribs slathered in sauce…

What does the future hold for Memphis Blues? Expansion into Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan; and bottling our rubs and sauces!

What food trend would you like to see Vancouver embrace? The new wave of Food trucks – but like they are in other countries – CHEAP, and located in one area where it becomes a gathering of people, and has good seating (difficult in our climate, of course).

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