On The Line: Robert Setina Of Smoqued BBQ, Part Two
Photo by Amanda DeFrancis

On The Line: Robert Setina Of Smoqued BBQ, Part Two

We are easily bamboozled by the types of BBQ out there. So we asked Robert Setina to drop some knowledge.

"Texas is most well-known for their beef. Typically seasoned with salt and pepper, slow smoked with post oak, mesquite or hickory, and served wrapped in butcher paper.

California is most known for their Santa Maria-style BBQ, and famous for their tri-tip. Tri-tip, chicken and sausage are the core meats found in this region. The seasoning of choice is a combination of garlic, salt and pepper. It is mandatory that all meats are grilled over red oak in an open pit.

Kansas City is most defined for their sauce. This region slow smokes a wide variety of meats using several different woods (hickory, apple, cherry, etc). But the defining factor in their BBQ is a thick, sweet tomato and molasses-based sauce.

Whether it is whole hog or just the shoulder, pork is king in the Carolinas. The other key component to BBQ in the Carolinas is a thin tomato or mustard-based vinegar sauce.

At Smoqued California BBQ, our BBQ is inspired by each of the aforementioned regions. All of our meats are smoked over a combination of hickory, oak and fruit woods. Our dry rubs are a twist on those used in the central coast of California and Texas. Sauces are reminiscent to those found in Kansas City and the Carolinas." Read our interview with Robert Setina of Smoqued BBQ, Part One. And now, on to Part Two . . .

Hardest lesson you've learned: Patience; I'm still working on it.

When you're not cooking in the kitchen, what are you doing? With my girlfriend, getting the house ready for the arrival of our daughter. Rock climbing, surfing, woodworking or working on my 1971 VW Bus.

What's your favorite childhood memory? The times I would get pulled out of school early and do a fun day with mom. And all the camping trips my dad, step mom and I would go on.

Last thing you looked up online? Vinyl records for sale.

Last song playing on your radio: Harry Neilsson's Gotta Get Up.

Do you have any skills that are non-food related? Woodworking. Made a few things for a few restaurants, and furniture for the house.

What were you up to five years ago? I was working at SideDoor in Corona del Mar. One of the most influential restaurants I have worked at. Got a lot of encouragement from the chef at the time to use my own ideas and recipes. Great learning experience!

Last book read; how was it? Heads and Beds. It's all about hotel management and the crazy stuff the author sees. It's pretty funny.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know? The owners of Smoqued are great people to work with; especially Drew!

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business? Anything that would involve my hands. Probably either working with wood or cars.

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >