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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

podcast 100-thumbnail

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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VIDEO: Tips and Tricks for Beginning Pitmasters

By Stover | 07/12/2019 | 0 Comments

Get a crash course on BBQ and grilling tips for beginners by learning from Cali Comfort BBQ’s latest appearance on San Diego television. Cali Comfort BBQ and friends shared BBQ and grilling tips on San Diego television news just after the July 4, 2019, holiday, a time when many are wanting to fire up their…

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Recipe: Spicy Chicken Wings by GrillGirl Robyn

By Stover | 07/04/2019 | 0 Comments

Just reading the words Chipotle Sriracha Buffalo Chicken Wings is enough to make your mouth burn in hunger. Indulge your spicy palette at your July 4 BBQ (or anytime!) by cooking these party pleasing grilled buffalo chicken wings by Robyn Lindars of Buffalo Chicken Wings are already known to have a high heat level.…

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Comic-Con Food: Where to Eat in San Diego

By Stover | 07/15/2019 | 0 Comments

You’re bound to build up a huge appetite when attending Comic-Con International in San Diego. To help you in your quest to dine on some great local cuisine in between panels and screenings, here is a Behind the Smoke-approved guide on where to eat in San Diego and the surrounding area during Comic-Con. There are…

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American Royal Barbecue Hall of Fame 2019 Inductees Revealed on The BBQ Central Show

By Stover | 05/29/2019 | 5 Comments

The Barbecue Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was revealed on The BBQ Central Show, a live podcast that has become a cherished part of the BBQ industry. The American Royal Barbecue Hall of Fame 2019 Inductees are: C.B. Stubblefield, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, Lubbock and Austin, TX. Pitmaster, business owner, restaurateur. Deceased. Wayne Monk, Lexington Barbecue,…

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Father’s Day: Supporting My Son On His Own Sports Path

By Shawn P. Walchef | 06/16/2019 | 0 Comments

Tennis was in my DNA, but it wasn’t my destiny. My grandparents loved tennis and since they were the ones who raised me, they decided I would love tennis too. I would often watch my Bulgarian grandfather and Japanese grandmother play doubles together. When I was seven I remember wishing I could run onto the…

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Future of Journalism Heralded at SDABJ Scholarship Dinner

By Stover | 06/10/2019 | 0 Comments

The future of journalism was celebrated at a San Diego Association of Black Journalists scholarship dinner. A talented and inspiring group of young men and women were applauded during the annual celebration of journalism, which was catered by Cali Comfort BBQ. The night’s keynote speech was by Washington Post journalist Wesley Lowery, who covers national…

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Tri-Tip Cooking Tips from Cali Comfort BBQ pitmasters

By Stover | 05/27/2019 | 0 Comments

Tri-Tip is a Cali BBQ specialty, but how do you make the perfect piece of smoked and seared tri-tip at your next backyard BBQ? You can craft smoked tri-tip the Cali Comfort BBQ way with some of these steak cooking tips courtesy of the restaurant’s team of pitmasters. Cali Comfort BBQ’s culinary crew of pitmasters…

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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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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