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Meet Benny Chang of The Q Joint BBQ in Irvine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Benny Chang.

Benny, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started off BBQ’ing as a hobby since 2005. Gradually my desire to improve my backyard BBQ skills has lead me deep down a quest for knowledge. This path of curiosity eventually transformed from a hobby, passion, obsessions’ and now my career.

Eventually I became involved in the BBQ competitions. It afforded me the opportunity to meet and learn from top pitmasters across the nation. I received my Certified BBQ Judge in the Kansas City BBQ Society in 2013, Table Captain & Master Judge in 2016 and awarded BBQ Judge of the Year for California BBQ Association in 2016.

Through my active years in the Competition BBQ circuit, I was deeply impressed with the amount of skill, knowledge, and dedication the top teams invest for their BBQ entries. I noticed that in order to win at any BBQ competition, there are tremendous attention focused on balance of smoke and flavor, texture, moisture pairing of different woods with appropriate proteins, and even presentation is not ignored. I’ve soaked as much of the recipes, tips, tricks & techniques from the various pitmasters over the years and incorporate them into my own applications.

Around 2018 I left my decade long career in real estate industry. After much consideration, I’ve decided to pursue my passion of creating art through smoked meat. I know from my experience in the competition circuit that BBQ can be a higher elevated form of cuisine. Realizing that BBQ is typically associated with the “blue collar” culture, I aim to transform public perception of BBQ by introducing them to “Competition Style” BBQ utilizing The Q Joint BBQ as a vehicle.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There has definitely been many challenges along this BBQ journey and I see each and every one of them as a learning experience.

One of which is simply due to lack of BBQ culture here in Southern California, where public perception of BBQ is often associated with boiled meat slathered with thick sweet sauce masking bland meat.

Another big challenge is overcoming that dominant business model in Orange County where big box corporations are the norms in retail. I hope in order to get mass public to accept & embrace small mom & pop establishments where attention is focused on artistic creations that stems from passion rather than increasing bottom lines for shareholders.

Please tell us about The Q Joint BBQ.
The Q Joint BBQ specializes in “Competition Style” BBQ. We are the ONLY establishment that serves this unique style of BBQ. We are not limited by regional influences Texas, Kansas City, Memphis or the Carlinas’ style and stays true to our mission on providing the best quality product. We take extreme pride in our BBQ and we have been converting & changing local’s idea of BBQ one customer at a time. We are the only BBQ business that pairs different woods to different meat. In addition to standard BBQ meat such as chicken, ribs, pulled pork and brisket, we also experiment with different unconventional cuts such as lamb chops, tri tips, pork jowls, ox tails to name a few. The possibilities are endless and I hope to share this experience with those who will come to appreciate our philosophy.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
The journey so far has its difficult as well as rewarding moments. The mistakes I’ve made in the past has helped me improved over the years. It is an on-going process and I would not change one thing.

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