T SEEMS Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn’s lives could not get any sweeter – or, rather, hickory smoked – as the pair of barbecue maestros have taken their skills to primetime TV with their new cookery show.
The duo, who embarked on a lifechanging road trip to the southern states of the US six years ago and kicked off the pop-up street food revolution in Wales, have worked hard to get to this place.
The show – Sam & Shauna’s Big Cook Out – takes the best of their cooking into Welsh kitchens.
While running their foreverbooked-out restaurant, Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry, Sam and Shauna travelled around some of Wales’ most dedicated community groups filming the show and even getting in on the action with the likes of Brecon Mountain Rescue Team and Cefn Hengoed’s Majestics Marching Band.
And as well as cooking with the groups, the TV show sees them visiting local producers and farms to source ingredients for each cook out, as knowing where their food comes from is key to their cooking.
Shauna says they ended up on the BBC’s radar after winning the BBC Food & Farming award for best street food in 2015.
“At the time the BBC were keen to get more women on their shows and the type of cooking we do really fitted into that ethos,” she says.
“Also, what we were really clear about is that we didn’t want to do a traditional TV cookery show, talking to camera, doing our bit then going to sit in a trailer away from everybody.”
Their mucking-in approach has taken them from busy, frantic pop-ups in Cardiff neighbourhood pubs and at street food festivals to turning their love of slow and low cooking into a fully-fledged barbecue empire.
Sam adds that it is a “triangle” made up of food, gatherings and music that always flavours what they do.
“The TV show is a real manifestation of all those things – we are actually going into communities and teaching them how to cook and we actually have a big gathering at the end of each episode, and it’s real and genuine and fits in with how Shauna and I operate really. It’s our triangle of love!” she says.
The pair believe that despite the unpredictable great British weather, cooking barbecue food can be fun – and it’s down to keeping it simple.
“What started as a love of American cooking and barbecue turned into a love of cooking outdoors with good, ethically-sourced meat, so it’s a cooking show that’s very unfussy and uncomplicated because most of the time we are out in a field with a chopping board, a knife, a bag of charcoal, some matches and the ingredients,” says Shauna.
“So there’s no foams, no fricassees, no fancy gadgets, it’s literally whatever we can get.
“We’re on a mission to inspire people to cook outdoors.”
Sam adds: “Shauna and I bought the cheapest barbecue with a lid we could find from a DIY shop – fair enough, I did have to bring a spanner in my pocket because this thing was rickety and falling apart – but it was 20 quid and that’s all you need.
“You can spend thousands on a barbecue but we wanted to show that it wasn’t about the equipment, it was about the technique.
“I’m not a barbecue snob, if you’re outdoors and cooking and experimenting with your food and cooking outside, I applaud that, because it’s about the produce as well.”
Sam and Shauna’s cook-out centrepieces on the four-part TV series will make your mouths drop. From bury-