A Barbecue Pit Grows In Brooklyn – As Does A Friendship

Sometimes a gesture turns out to be the most meaningful. I was floored when I read this article in Food Republic. My friend Matt Fisher is much too generous in the praise, but I certainly feel the same way about him.

Here’s the first part of the article. For the rest, please go to Food Republic’s site.

Matt Fisher and Bill Fletcher are serving St. Louis ribs, smoked chicken wings and brisket.
Matt Fisher and Bill Fletcher are serving St. Louis ribs, smoked chicken wings and brisket.

After building a successful New York City advertising agency, Bill Fletcher sold his share to a partner to focus on establishing a “better work-life balance.” Apparently, work-life balance also includes mastering the art of slow-cooking various cuts of meat in the smoke of blistering maple and red oak logs.

With Fletcher’s, his newly opened barbecue restaurant in the white-hot Brooklyn food neighborhood known as Gowanus, the former ad man has partnered with one of the best in the business. Matt Fisher formerly ran the smokers at award-winning Wildwood and R.U.B (Righteous Urban Barbecue) before hooking up in 2012. We caught up with the pair to find out what went into the opening, and their stance on sauce. As in, is sauce even needed!?

Where did you travel to research, in advance of opening Fletchers?
Pitmaster Matt Fisher: I have eaten barbecue all over the country, with particular focus on Texas and Missouri. Of course, I have eaten all over the east coast and in all the great barbecue joints in New York City.

Owner Bill Fletcher: I eat barbecue everywhere I go. I did very little traveling specifically to open Fletcher’s. It was more of realizing a lifelong dream and teaming up with Matt to define what our flavor profiles were going to be right here in Brooklyn.

Do you have a favorite style of American barbecue?
Matt: I am partial to the balance of sweet, tangy, tart and spicy that’s associated with Kansas City barbecue. In general, I prefer barbecue that has just enough spice to keep me reaching for a beer!

Bill: Not unilaterally. I lean towards vinegar and pork, lightly glazed ribs, and smoky fatty brisket.

Who did you talk to in researching? Did you have a mentor?
Matt: I’ve learned something from everyone I ever cooked with and worked with. All of the fantastic pitmasters that carry on the tradition of low and slow barbecue daily. But these days, Robbie Richter and Robert Fernandez (ed: I corrected my last name) are the barbecue friends I turn to most for guidance and experience.

Bill: I talked to anyone who had experience in barbecue, restaurant management and construction. My good friend owns Baked in Red Hook and helped me tremendously when it came to core operational stuff. I spent a weekend with Mike and Amy Mills from 17th Street BBQ out in Murphysboro, Illinois to see how they run their empire. That experience helped to confirm that I could pull the whole thing off.

Read the rest HERE.

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