ManBQue was born in Chicago – birthplace of pretty much every delicious idea fueled by beer and self-confidence. That first night, we were seven guys on a rooftop, realizing we hadn’t been making the time to get together, grill meats, drink beer, and catch up with each other. The idea to do it every month, like all beer-fueled 2 a.m. ideas, seemed fantastic at the time. But for once, the meat-stuffed boozers in question stuck to it. And then we did it the next month. And the month after that. Before we knew it, friends were bringing new friends who were bringing their own new friends. The Tribune came calling. Chicago’s Best TV came around not long after. The Today Show shot a segment, and we got the singularly odd experience of hearing Matt Lauer and Al Roker say “ManBQue” on air. Their envious faux-horror at our Midwestern eating habits led to a book, which led to another book, which brings us to you today. If you ever need a hilarious fact at a party, mention that Jacques Pepin, Rick Bayless, and ManBQue all share the same agent. It’s true, and it’s just as bizarre to us as it is to you.
The whole time we were bringing in new meat fanatics, we were still MEATing every month (that’s not us being cute – they’re called MEATings) and throwing beer to ice and meat to fire. And we still do it on the last Thursday of every single month. If it’s 90 degrees at night, we grill. If it’s -20 and the weatherman’s calling for an icy hellscape, we’re still grilling. We started ManBQue to cook good food and enjoy great beer, and we’ve done it every month since we started this thing in 2006. We’ve cooked at Baconfest twice, we’ve catered for Goose Island beer releases, and we’ve even bested a Michelin-starred restaurant in a straight bare-knuckle hot dog cookoff.
(Once. When were were having the greatest cooking day of our lives. Oh god, we hope he’s not reading this.)
So that brings you to here, scrolling bizarrely far down a rote bio page on a website. Here’s were we mess around, play with new recipes and techniques, and try to pass on our love of good food and cold beer. Cook something, drink something, and come on out to tell us about it.
Welcome to the cult. Welcome to ManBQue!