Wayne Mueller’s Churrascada Experience
Curious what barbecuing at the world’s most insane BBQ festival takes? Watch Wayne Mueller (from the legendary BBQ joint Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas) share his experience what it is like to cook at Churrascada in São Paulo, Brazil. An unbelievable annual BBQ festival where fire loving chefs and enthusiasts cook for two days feeding thousands of visitors hungry for the best barbecue.
Cooking abroad is a great adventure but certainly has its challenges and can rattle your cage of confidence firmly. Especially when you’re diving straight into the deep end like all international chefs do cooking at the annual Churrascada BBQ festival. It might sound simple: fly to a foreign country, cook some BBQ and be part of the festival line up. But as most chefs who cooked at this meat manifesto will confess, it’s far from simple. First hurdle to overcome: you’ll have to cook with unfamiliar equipment. And at Churrascada it might even be the case that you will first have to build your own equipment!
“at Churrascada it might even be the case that you will first have to build your own equipment!”
Not all chefs get their hands on a regular BBQ or smoker, some will have to make do with some steel pipes and wires to craft their fiery cooking installation. Second challenge will be getting the right ingredients you’re familiar with. That particular type of pepper you need? It might not exist in Brazil. Those ribs you need to start cooking right now? Oh, those might still be frozen. Besides having to find your way in an unfamiliar environment these things might throw you miles of the game plan you had meticulously worked out in advance. Because trust me, if you have to serve more than a thousand portions of BBQ goodness in a day and it’s your name on the line, you prepare!
RELAX, IT’S JUST BBQ
It is the absolute charm of Churrascada that all chefs have to improvise on the spot. From building a totally different fire fed cooking setup to changing the recipes for your dish based on what is available. Luckily there is never a shortage of enthusiastic volunteers to assist all international chefs prepping and cooking for the hungry masses that flock the festival all day long. Add the relaxed attitude of the Brazilians and all stress flows out your body once the gates are opened and you served the first few portions. Or is it the effect of the unlimited supply of ice-cold beer all Pitmasters can grab from the oversized ice chest parked beside their cooking stations.
For the rare BBQ lover that has not yet added Churrascada to their bucket list here is a brief explanation as to why they should change that immediately. Call it BBQ heaven or a meaty Mecca, this fiery festival is something every BBQ enthusiast should experience at least once in their life. Churrascada is the name of a bunch of festivals held throughout Brazil where the big one is a two-day meat, music, and beer infused happening at an always changing location in São Paulo. Here sixty chefs from around the world flock together for two days to do one thing: build a showcase that highlights the art of cooking with fire. Visitors buy one ticket and that includes all the meat and beer they can muster in a single day. Most will make it trying about 25 different dishes before passing into a meat coma. Curious about this festival? Do follow them on Instagram @churrascada and check out the videos below.