Barbecue cook takes pride in slow cooking
Anthony Quattrochi with Smokin' M's restaurant starts cooking brisket at the restaurant Nov. 15. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:11AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Armed with a barbecue recipe that goes back 40 years, Anthony Quattrochi has opened a restaurant in Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood.
Smokin M’s, 6814 W. North Ave., has been up and running in the neighborhood for about four months. Prior to opening, Quattrochi worked at the Smokin M’s Forest Park location for a year, learning the art of barbecuing before starting out on his own.
In addition to the recipe, which he uses to barbecue pork, beef and chicken, Quattrochi puts in a lot of hard work making the food that compliments the meat from scratch.
“We make our own barbecue sauce, cocktail sauce, sweet potato pie and pecan pie,” he said.
While others in the barbecue business have sped up their cooking process, Quattrochi takes pride in slowing his down. He starts cooking his meat at around 9 a.m.
“The ribs are cooked on an open fire and smoked with hickory wood,” he said. “I smoke the chicken for three to four hours and the ribs five to seven hours, just a slow cook.
“This is true barbecue,” he said. “It is a slow cook. You’ve got to take your time.”
They use the same process on the pulled pork and beef brisket, cooking the meat slow for 10 to 12 hours. Quattrochi said those who come in to eat don’t have to chew too much because the meat is so tender.
His wife, Debra, helps out with the customers up front while Quattrochi prepares and cooks the food. She was kind of nervous when he suggested starting his own business.
“It made my stomach turn into knots,” she said.
But so far, they’ve been getting good business.
“Every time I walk through, my heart is filled because we have something people enjoy and we believe in it,” she said.
“She has the gift of gab and tells it like it is,” Quattrochi said.
Customers can eat in the restaurant or carry out. Smokin M’s also delivers and caters events.
Quattrochi, 44, has been in the restaurant business for 25 years working for others and would like to expand on the business in the future. He said he’s already had customers coming from Joliet and Chicago’s South Side to eat his barbecue.
He said it’s all about taking the time to do it right.
“It’s all about quality and consistency,” he said. “Our goal is to open a few more locations next year.”