A few years ago, Sam Killens father, Sam, took a trip to the barbecue region of South Africa to try his hand at barbecue.
“We tried some different things,” he says.
“Some of them are really good.
Some of them I really don’t like.”
Sam’s was not Sam’s barbecue.
He liked other barbecue establishments, but not the South African variety that he found in Cape Town.
“I’m not a big fan of South African barbecue,” he admits.
“The smell, the texture.
It was really weird, because we were sitting at the bar and we were eating and they were sitting there.”
Killen was born and raised in South Africa, and he started his barbecue career in the early 1970s when he worked as a cook at a restaurant in the township of Llandudno.
He says that after working there for four years, he got bored and moved to a restaurant across the road, in Cape May.
He soon returned to South Africa with his family and, in 1981, opened his own restaurant.
“My father came over to visit me in Cape Deering and I was really into it,” he recalls.
“So I took a job as a restaurant chef and I worked there for eight years, until the last eight years.
I think I started when I was 12.
I’ve always been very proud of my father for being a very proud cook.”
He went on to become a master barbecue cook, as well as a successful restaurant owner, with a number of locations across South Africa.
Today, Killen is the proprietor of a number more than 50 restaurants across South African cities, and has built up a reputation as a barbecue expert.
Killen and his wife, Yvonne, opened Sam’s Barbecue in 2011.
The menu is similar to his own, and the same concept has been repeated by other barbecue restaurants across the country.
“Sam’s Bar BBQ is not an extension of the barbecue restaurant industry,” he explains.
“It’s just a barbecue restaurant.
We try to put our own twist on it.
We use different meats and sauces and all sorts of things.
We’ve also tried to do something a bit different, which is to give you a real, authentic barbecue experience.”
The menu at Sam’s consists of a few different cuts of meat, including chicken, beef, lamb, pork and veal.
There are also two sauces, one red, one yellow.
All are made from locally sourced ingredients, and all of them have a distinctive flavour.
“What we do is create the best barbecue experience for you,” says Killen.
“But it’s also very personal and we love to work with people who don’t necessarily have the same interests.”
It’s a unique concept that has attracted people from all over the world.
“People come from all around the world and it’s all very welcoming and it makes you feel part of this community,” he adds.
“Everyone here is really welcoming.”
He adds that they also try to provide a welcoming atmosphere, and are not afraid to take chances with the food they serve.
“You have to do it with care,” he laughs.
“If we’re making something, it has to be authentic and we want to be sure we don’t put anything on it that doesn’t come from our family.
We have to be very, very careful about what we do with the meat and we try to use the best ingredients we can.”
We also try not to put anything too complicated or complex in it.
It’s about the meat, it’s about seasoning it, it just has to taste good.
We do try to do things a little bit differently.
“Hopefully, in five or ten years, I’ll be able to make a lamb dish.” “
In the future, I’d like to do chicken too,” he smiles.
“Hopefully, in five or ten years, I’ll be able to make a lamb dish.”
It seems like a long way away to the time when you could make a barbecue sandwich at home and have it ready in just minutes, but for many, it is the answer to their barbecue woes.
“As an Australian, it was really good to be able live and eat barbecue in a way that was comfortable, with friends and family and I had all the amenities and I didn’t have to spend a lot of money,” Killen says.
“We’ve been here a few years now and we’ve had a lot more success and we’re just now getting there.”
The barbecue industry in Australia has just grown so much, and it is such a huge industry and it has really helped us grow.
It has given us so much in terms of the social good and the economic benefit that it has brought to us.
Our family is from Cape Town, which was part of South West Africa,”