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About Behind the Smoke: BBQ War Stories

Behind The Smoke Podcast Hosts - Derek & Shawn

Shawn P. Walchef

Owner @CaliComfortBBQ


Shawn & Rositsa Walchef

The Walchef Wolfpack

Shawn and his wife Rositsa Walchef turned a failed breakfast business partnership into a full-service, Low-N-Slow BBQ focused, sports entertainment and hospitality business. Cali Comfort BBQ was founded in 2008 with 18 employees and quickly grew to a revenue producing bbq and event production business with 87 amazing employees.

Shawn is a Co-Host of the Behind the Smoke Podcast, a Founder of the Marso Walchef Youth Empowerment Program and an Organizer of both the Del Mar BBQ State Championship and Spring Valley Tailgate and BBQ Festivals.

Shawn is actively digitally hacking brand awareness and has been for the past ten years via social media, community outreach, charity and sports entertainment, which creates opportunities to cater Cali Comfort BBQ to the San Diego Chargers, the Los Angeles Chargers, the San Diego Gulls and the San Diego Aztecs. Recently inducted into Pro Football's Ultimate Fan Association for the class of 2017 you can find him, his wife and newborn son at anything Chargers related.

Derek Marso

 Owner @ValleyFarmMarket


Derek Marso

Valley Farm Market Family

Derek, 34, a San Diego (East County) native is a Co-host of the Behind The Smoke Podcast.  He is the Owner of Valley Farm Market and the Valley Farm Market BBQ Shack.

Derek went to Kansas State University and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Geography with minor in Spanish. He was All-American in High School and All Big 12 player in college.

He also played a short stint in the NFL.  With a passion for barbecue, Derek developed a hybrid Kansas City Style/Southern Cali Style BBQ while in college at Kansas State and he competed in eight BBQ competitions.  He won multiple awards at different BBQ events in Kansas. Derek has been passionate about fishing, hunting, and broke down animals ever since he was a young man.

Derek sponsors and participates in Circuit Fishing Tournaments and he is the Founder of the Marso Walchef Youth Empowerment Program. He is an Organizer of both the Del Mar BBQ State Championship and Spring Valley Tailgate and BBQ Festival.  Derek loves his family: his wife, two boys, and he has another on the way!

Cory Wagner

Producer @BBQWarStories Podcast


Cory Wagner

Cory hails from the sunny beaches of San Diego, where he spends his time as a Digital Marketing Specialist, Social Media Guru, and a Podcast Producer. Cory has been a Digital Marketing professional since 2012 but first became passionate about the concepts in the ancient days of Myspace.

Cory holds a Bachelors of Science in Marketing from Cal State University of Northridge, and as a 25 year old #millennial, he is as ardent and competitive as they come. Cory loves learning about the latest and greatest in the world of Digital Marketing and then he creates and implements ways in which to apply his findings to business practices. Cory loves music, sports, and his three cats.