Friday, April 19

Barbeque King Ken Walker On Hanging Up His Spurs After 2 Decades

Enduring Shanghai legend Ken Walker was the male that presented the city to real Texas smoked, grilled, and flame-licked meats.

FOUND OUT MORE: Glistening Fat-Laden Brisket and Smoky Ribs at the New Bubba’s

Well, after 20 years, the BBQ king has actually revealed his retirement; he’ll be handing down the tongs for his renowned and longstanding dining establishment Bubba’s to Smoke KCQ creator Matty Waters.

A location that has actually stood the test of time, Bubba’s very first opened its doors way back in 2006. And, although it has actually moved and broadened to various corners of the city throughout the years, its devoted fan base has actually stayed — a testimony to its amassed tradition.

Before this Texan hangs up his stimulates, we took a seat with the pitmaster to become aware of a bygone age of Shanghai’s food and drink scene, and tease out all those unmentionable stories he can now inform …


Ken Waker, circa 2007

How, when and why did you transfer to Shanghai?
I initially pertained to Asia in 1996 and worked out of Hong Kong doing a great deal of [corporate communications] tasks in China.

I simply enjoyed concerning Shanghai throughout those years, with all the bikes and the simple lifestyle, while at the very same time seeing whatever sort of bubbling up, as if somebody was gradually turning the warm up greater than a simmer.

You might inform huge things will take place.

I got a possibility to move here in 2004 while I was working back in Texas and leapt at the chance. I got here without a task and was preparing to get business work.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

How did you come to open the very first ever Texan BBQ dining establishment in Shanghai?
As a real Texan will do, I was looking for barbecue to consume. My main, stomach-fueled objective when showing up in Shanghai was to discover the very best BBQ– a taste of Texas home.

I chased after dining establishment promotion after discount, where they were doing barbecue this and barbecue that … and, well, none of it was barbecue in my book.

Places were doing grilled sausages, chops, and steaks, and calling it barbecue. For us in Texas, that’s barbecuing, not grilling.

Which is how I acknowledged a chance in the market for a Texan to reveal individuals here what genuine barbecue is everything about.

I chose what this city required was a REAL barbecue joint, and– as such– I set out to open one.

Ken Walker (left) with the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry (best) at Bubba’s in Shanghai

Did you have any food and drink or BBQ experience?
No *, in fact I had actually never ever operated in a dining establishment before opening Bubba’s.

*For the function of this post,

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