Friday, November 14, 2008 

Tim Beattie For Totally Chipotle

TIM BEATTIE IS A LONG-TIME PAL & BANDMATE OF MINE WHO I FIRST MET IN L.A. I always liked him, but it took me awhile to accept a hard fact about him: No matter who he shares the stage with, no matter how good, no matter what instrument they're playing... Tim always gets the most response and applause from audiences when he plays harp. Not to take anything away from his singing (dynamite), lap steel (excellent) and songwriting (very fine). But when he gets on that harp, it's something truly special.

As a reference, the guy blows notes as fast as the dude from Blues Traveler; but, in my opinion, Tim is a far tastier player, singer, and much more dynamic performer.

He plays with various bands in Nashville these days, but I always bring him around to wherever I am & whatever I'm doing when possible - the secret weapon.

Tim is also an excellent smoker & griller, I've had some amazing food at his place; and he makes a dry rub that is just addictive (put a label on it & sell it, you dumbass!!! Truly fantastic).

Here's a quickie video I shot of him, fooling around with his harp on a neck brace; I think we were both shaking off the aftereffects from too much fun, and he was just cruising slow & steady.

Tim Beattie For Totally Chipotle from Rocknrollchef on Vimeo.



Marconi Foods From Chicago

ANOTHER COMPANY I met & taped at a Dept Of Agriculture trade show in October 2008. They do some heavy rotation spots on a Chicago radio station called The Score, which they say does well for them. Hopefully, this piece will end up on their website? Seems like I had to sell the idea of online video to just about everyone in their family business before getting the green light on this; in the bigger picture, I'd love to set up a REAL cooking shoot with lights, better camera, etc. WE WILL SEE!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008 

The Big Green Egg! OUT THERE OWN A BIG GREEN EGG? I don't (yet), but have to admit - they're pretty groovy, real heavy and not cheap. I got a call from Nick at Jack Daniels, who recommended I come out & shoot video at their event November 7 & 8 at Carmichael's Steakhouse in the West Loop (Chicago). I'm glad I did.

The owners & chefs who use them swear by them, and they look pretty groovy. I interviewed various folks there, got to know some of the chefs (that's good & bad), and have been looking through some of the footage since then to edit/post. Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 06, 2008 

America Loves BBQ

IF YOU'VE LIVED IN CHICAGO, IT'S LIKELY YOU'VE HEARD OF MOO & OINK. I'm not originally from here, so I remember laughing hard when I got here & first heard their name, which is both silly and unbeatable for telling you exactly what kind of stuff they sell: SOUL FOOD! (chitlins, collard green, ribs, short ribs, rib tips, catfish, hamhocks, beans, cornbread mix, etc). And all things BBQ.

One thing I discovered that separated them from every other local store - REALLY forward-thinking marketing, including the early adoption of online video, jingle contests, branding, private labeling.
Miles ahead of even the big corporate chains, very impressive to me.

WELL, last month I had the pleasure of meeting the man behind that great great marketing - Mr. Barry Levy (admittedly, a cultural disconnect/surprise for that kind of store & target demographic... but talk about iron-clad street cred). I was videotaping a food show for the Illinois Dept. Of Agriculture at Drury Lane in Oakbrook, IL, and Barry was there with his family, rolling out his new venture: America Loves BBQ and Love Me Tenders. Without going into the bloody details, there was a falling out at Moo & Oink and, after 30 plus years, Barry went his own way, and has now moved heavily into the retail & wholesale business with all kinds of tasty stuff (his "Super Sausage" is somewhat addictive; Chip Znuff and myself have been testing various recipes with it). Barry & I hit it off immediately, as I told him how much I loved their marketing & online video, and the things he had to say about BBQ & ribs being a national passion mirrored what I've been saying and doing with

From there, I had the chance to produce more video at Barry's house (LOVE that 24 p film look), and we got some nice photos... and I then plugged all that in over Barry's 90 second blurb I shot at the trade show (below). I think it tells his story pretty well pretty fast, makes his stuff look big-time, and pretty much shows anyone who's interested what his brands are about.

Something else about Barry: Looks can be deceiving, because there's probably not many people in the USA who know more about soul food than him (and the manufacturing, packaging, distribution and in-store promotions of those foods, too). Based on the wide variety of folks he's befriended from all walks of life, he's no snob either. More, during his time at Moo & Oink, he got to know the owners of more Chicago rib & bbq places than probably any other single person. In my world, that's real cool (and maybe invaluable - can you say Jack Daniels, Green Egg & qualifying event for the JD national event?).
Stay tuned & enjoy Barry and his tasty products.

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