A Dragon’s Den contestant turned successful jerky and barbecue sauce seller is hoping to win over Londoners when he launches his own Texas-style barbecue restaurant next month.
Joe Walters, from Dallas, made a name for himself when he appeared on Dragon’s Den three years ago in full cowboy clobber, winning investment for his beef jerky brand from Dragon Peter Jones but eventually deciding to go it alone.
With his business partner James Watt — one of the founders of BrewDog — he will open Texas Joe’s Slow Smoked Meats near Bermondsey Street on July 4 to mark American Independence Day.
He said: “There are a lot of barbecue restaurants in London now, but something has been seriously lost in translation. Here barbecue is treated as a culinary fad whereas in Texas it is simply a way of life — it is wrong that chefs are trying to elevate it to something it is not and I will be taking things back to basics.”
He describes the restaurant, which will replace a former Chinese takeaway on Snowfields, as a “spit and sawdust” venue where the focus is on the food rather than “neon signs and American” decor.
A 500-pound capacity rotisserie imported from the States will be a focal point, while its menus will be printed in the style of a 1930s Texas newspaper and much of the furniture will be homemade.
It will serve beef brisket and prime ribs, pork shoulder and several traditional mutton dishes, which will be made using meat from local Bermondsey butcher Nathan Mills.
This will be accompanied by homemade pickles and bread, and washed down with a range of US and UK craft beers and spirits. These will include bourbons from Balcones and Garrison Brothers, Texan Lone Star lager and closer-to-home beers from Camden Town and Kernel.
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