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Behind The Smoke podcast is dedicated to revealing the truths in business and barbecue in the digital age. Hosted by Shawn Walchef of Cali Comfort BBQ and Derek Marso of Valley Farm Market.


About Behind The Smoke Media

Behind The Smoke Media is dedicated to revealing the truths in the business and digital marketing of BBQ, the sexy Instagram photos come later. Shawn Walchef of Cali Comfort BBQ and Derek Marso of Valley Farm Market take you Behind the Smoke each episode to share BBQ War Stories, raw and untrimmed. 
From restaurant lawsuits, to failed menu development execution, to how community based events can help scale your food business, Derek and Shawn bring you into the messy world of hospitality entrepreneurship.  
You won’t hear anything like this in your BBQ Business 101 class.  Join the West Coast BBQ Movement and remember, "If we can't tag you, then we can't pimp you." 
@BBQWarStories #BehindTheSmoke

Latest Podcast Episode

#100: Our Podcast Journey – Behind The Smoke

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 04/12/2019

#099: For The Love of Radio and Baseball – Steven Woods

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 04/05/2019

#098: Using Facebook to Grow Your Business – El Pollo Grill

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 03/22/2019

#097: Franchising Your Business Model – Tap Truck

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 03/15/2019

#096: The Michael Jordan of Cheesesteaks – Al Calozzi

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 03/08/2019

#095: The Business of Quality Craft Beer – TapCraft

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 03/01/2019

#094: Dive Bar Renaissance Man – Chad Cline

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 02/22/2019

#093: Fishermen Casting a Wide Social Network – BD Outdoors

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 02/15/2019

#092: Overcoming the Addiction to Alcohol – Brian Hess

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 02/08/2019

#091: Delivering Necessary News as an Anchor & Weather Reporter – Heather Myers

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 02/01/2019

#090: Authentic Mexican Craft Beer in Barrio Logan – Border X Brewing

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 01/25/2019

#089: Diving in to ABC’s Shark Tank – Angel Shave Club

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 01/18/2019

#088: A Family’s Pursuit of Hoppiness – Alpine Beer Co

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 01/11/2019

#087: 2018 Memorable Moments

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 01/04/2019

#086: San Diego’s Next Great Brewery Experience – My Yard Live

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 12/28/2018

#085: Discussing Radio, Podcasting, Lifestyle, and Mental Health with Chris Cantore – YEW

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 12/21/2018

#084: A Foodie For Thought – The Promiscuous Fork

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 12/14/2018

#083: The Family Fight Business – Tiger Smalls Boxing

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 12/07/2018

#082: Introducing San Diego’s Alliance of American Football Team – AAF Fleet

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 11/30/2018

#081: How Profitable is a Successful Restaurant? – Restaurant Solutions, Inc

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 11/23/2018

#100: Our Podcast Journey – Behind The Smoke

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Derek Marso & Shawn Walchef – Behind The Smoke – San Diego, CA Subscribe on YouTube Summary Episode #100 – The Final Episode of Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories It is with great sadness for us to announce that this will be the final Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories podcast in its current…

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Whissel Realty Group, Cali Comfort BBQ Feed Teachers With BBQ Catering

By Stover | 05/17/2019 | 2 Comments

Cali Comfort BBQ teamed up with Whissel Realty Group to #thankateacher during National Teacher Appreciation Week by catering a barbecue lunch at a local school. During Teacher Appreciation Week, Kyle Whissel (CEO, Whissel Realty Group) and Shawn Walchef (Owner, Cali Comfort BBQ) decided to feed all 55 teachers at the PRIDE Academy of Prospect Avenue…

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West Coast BBQ Highlighted by Grubhub on National BBQ Day 2019

By Stover | 05/16/2019 | 0 Comments

The world is waking up to West Coast BBQ. After crunching the data that it collects about customer food preferences, the food delivery app Grubhub released a list of the best barbecue in the United States. The entire West Coast is on fire when it comes to a love of ordering barbecue delivery and BBQ-related…

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Yelp and San Diego Restaurants Team Up to Feed Government Employees During Shutdown

By Stover | 01/23/2019 | 0 Comments

Yelp teamed up with Cali Comfort BBQ and other local San Diego restaurants to host a free lunch for federal employees impacted by the long government shutdown of January 2019. There were around 500 people who were fed during the big Jan. 23, 2019 lunch feast of local food flavor, representing some of the best…

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San Diego Chargers Community Steps Up To Support Small Business

By Stover | 01/18/2019 | 0 Comments

At the heart of the story are businesses with unrivaled enthusiasm for their communities. And business owners who know that it’s not about what team you support. It’s about having support. No matter what colors you wear on game day, everyone should support the rights of a small business to waive their flag with pride.…

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Planning a Coast to Coast BBQ Road Trip

By Bryan Abou Chacra | 09/11/2018 | 0 Comments

Planning a Coast to Coast BBQ Road Trip? Barbecue — It’s a word that will make you drool just by reading it. Much like blue jeans and baseball, this cultural staple is quintessential to being an American. In almost all other countries, the practice of smoking meat has many analogues, but barbecue, especially as it…

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“Turf and Surf” Competition Proves West Coast BBQ is on Fire

By Stover | 08/21/2018 | 0 Comments

The Turf & Surf BBQ Championship, a KCBS-sanctioned competition, now heading into its fourth year, was organized by Arlie Bragg, Gene Goycochea, Shawn Walchef and Derek Marso. With $15,000 in prizes, appetizing food that transcended the “traditional” barbecue label, and BBQ industry camaraderie — all set against an ocean backdrop at the majestic Del Mar racetrack near San Diego — the event was one to remember.

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7 SMOKIN’ iPhone Wallpapers for the Turf & Surf BBQ State Championship

By Cory Wagner | 07/19/2018 | 0 Comments

Turf & Surf BBQ State Championship – Save These & Get Ready to #BETonBBQ CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-BBQ TICKET – VIP TIX AVAILABLE! 

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Getting Started Guide: Essential Podcast Equipment

By Cory Wagner | 06/28/2018 | 0 Comments

Essential Podcast Equipment When Getting Started OK – so you want to start a podcast of your own but have no clue what equipment you need to get started. NO WORRIES! Let me help you out. Below is the list of items that we started out with on our podcast. Please keep in mind that…

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The “Best” BBQ Podcasts

By Shawn P. Walchef | 05/25/2018 | 0 Comments

Finding the “Best” BBQ Podcast can be challenging once you catch the podcast bug. If you listen to our weekly business and digital marketing podcast, Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories, then you know that my co-host and I hate “Best Of” lists. I disagree with these lists primarily because old, traditional media uses this clickbait trick…

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Local Ace Hardware Stores Partner with NBBQA Pitmasters Nationwide for Neighborhood BBQ Fest

By Shawn P. Walchef | 05/05/2018 | 0 Comments

Share Your Passion for BBQ & Grilling With ACE On May 5th, 2018, ACE Hardware is holding their first annual Neighborhood BBQ Fest, a nationwide gathering around grills at participating ACE Hardware stores. As the Official Retailer of the National Barbecue & Grilling Association, ACE Hardware has partnered with local pitmasters across the country to…

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BBQ Influencers

We are looking for BBQ Influencers to add content with guest blog posts, video content and photos of bad ass bbq events all over the world. Tweet at us to get involved...

BBQ Apprenticeship

Need help jumping off the entrepreneurial cliff to start your bbq business brand? Derek and Shawn are here to help but can't read your mind. Contact us today!

West Coast BBQ Movement Sponsorship Opportunities


Learning for the BEST!!! 

Listening to Shawn and Derek has inspired me to pay more attention to the growing BBQ industry. Their podcasts are really simple with detail. They break down each component so the podcast is easy to understand. As a BBQ enthusiast, I have learned so much more from these guys than anyone else..."

-Dutch BBQ 


Epic BBQ Podcast...

"I wish it was Friday everyday so i could listen to this podcast all the time. Shawn and Derek are awesome hosts and they have an epic lineup of guests they find to bring on the show. Can't wait to hear more..."

- Beaches N Peaches