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Barbecue is booming like never before, and the smell of pit smoke is in the air from California across the Great Plains to the Atlantic Coast.
“Barbecue has exploded onto a growing number of restaurant menus the last few years,” said Chef Rocco Paradiso, brands chef, US Foods. “The trend is being driven in part by diners traveling more and seeking out the bold, barbecue flavors they enjoyed on the road when they get home. Cooking shows on the Food Network have also increased awareness and sparked curiosity about barbecue among consumers.”
The growing popularity of barbecue has also given rise to hundreds of barbecue events across the country each year, from small, local competitions to large festivals that draw thousands. The American Royal World Series of Barbecue® is the largest in the United States with more than 500 teams expected to compete in the 33rd annual event in October.
“Nothing is more American than barbecue,” Paradiso said. “It’s a very old school way of cooking… slow, open pit, smoky. Patience and passion make barbecue great because you can’t rush taste. But that’s also the problem with barbecue — it takes hours and hours of careful cooking to get that great pit-smoked taste.”
Now US Foods saves you the time and expense of slow smoking with three bold, new Chef’s Line™ Fully Cooked, Naturally Applewood & Hickory Pit-Smoked BBQ products:
Each is all-natural pork that has been slow cooked over real applewood and hickory logs. All you do is heat, finish and serve.
“Now every restaurant can put smoked barbecue on its menu,” Paradiso said. “We’ve taken the time and expense out of smoking pork so you can focus your attention on creating a one-of-a-kind barbecue sauce better than anything in your market. Applewood and hickory give the pork a great tasting, yet very neutral smoke flavor. It’s not ‘in-your-face’ smokiness. Your sauce will still lead on the tongue.
“So barbecue is not only very affordable, delicious and in demand, but it’s also a great way for restaurants to stand out in the marketplace with signature barbecue sauces and dishes,” he added. “In fact, barbecue has become nearly as popular and specialized as pizza in terms of the number of different sauces and flavors around the country.”
Pork is the preferred meat in restaurant barbecue dishes, according to the Foodservice Research Institute. It’s used in 40% of barbecue menu items at independent restaurants, 43% at mid-scale restaurants, 37% at mid-scale chains and 47% at casual chains.
“I have a customer who sold 20 cases of the new pork butt product in just two weeks,” Paradiso said. “He didn’t want to spend $5,000 on a smoker so he uses our pork and serves it with his own special barbecue sauce and coleslaw. His customers are going crazy for it, and he’s thrilled he finally has a barbecue dish on his menu.”
Please contact your US Foods sales rep or click “Place an Order” at the top of this page to get the new Chef’s Line Fully Cooked, Naturally Applewood & Hickory Pit-Smoked BBQ Pork or any of the 27 other new products that are Keeping Kitchens Cooking™ across America.