After only two years in business, SMOKED—the newest food sensation in Ridgewood, NJ—took the top award of BEST BBQ at the North New Jersey BBQ Showcase/ThrowDown held in March. Over 300 consumers and professional culinary tastemakers attended the event held on the concierge level of the Garden State Plaza Westfield Mall in Paramus, NJ.
SMOKED is the brainchild of an extraordinarily talented Upper Saddle River resident, Chef Robert Feuerstein, who has been perfecting his craft begun by his dad over 60 years ago.
The competition included restauranteurs, chefs and pit masters from all parts of the New York metropolitan area. The winner was chosen after scrupulous evaluation by food editors, bloggers and a KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society) judge. The SMOKED brisket and smoked baked beans, paired with house-made pickles and an orange slice made top cut!
SMOKED is known for its artisanal cuisine which emphasizes natural, health-conscious, locally sourced ingredients, as well as traditional southern sides and vegetarian choices. As the new go-to BBQ destination for locals, many are now crossing the border to sample Feuerstein’s menu. The pièce de résistance: the meats have no sauce!
“Our taste is in the meat, not in the sauce” says Chef Robert, emphatic that “the smoking process yields a rich, distinct flavor that does not need to be obscured by sauce.” SMOKED does make different types of BBQ sauces, but encourages patrons to enjoy the meat as served, using sauce as a true condiment.
“Winning this award—and being recognized by judges, peers and consumers with sophisticated palates, who understand the art of smoking is extremely exciting and gratifying,” said Feuerstein. “It makes the early mornings at the market and late evenings checking the smoker even more worthwhile. With food prep experiencing both a renaissance and evolution that is unparalleled, it is a very exciting time to be in the food industry.”
Founded in 2016, SMOKED is located at 2 Godwin Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ – right on the most southern part of the Ridgewood Train Station. Feuerstein’s partner is his wife Deidra, who is the face of the company, overseeing catering, customer service, marketing and a growing wholesale business.