Podcast Ep. #16: Iron Pig American BBQ Comes to Chengdu

The Iron PigUpdate: location, photos and more information about this restaurant is available here: Iron Pig American Barbecue on Chengdu Places

In this episode we speak with the proprietor of one of our favorite new expat eateries in Chengdu: the phenomenal American smoked barbecue restaurant called Iron Pig.

We recorded this episode just before Iron Pig opens a highly anticipated new location in the Tongzilin neighborhood of Chengdu. We talk with Justin, the proprietor of Iron Pig, about what first brought him to China 17 years ago and what led him to pursue his passion of opening the first smoked barbecue restaurant in the region.

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Topics Discussed

  • 00:00 Intro My Morning Jacket Golden
  • 00:55 How did the idea for Iron Pig come about?
  • 02:00 About the store front opening in Tongzilin August 21st or 22nd
  • 02:20 The smoker
  • 02:55 How is “smoking” different from regular barbecue with a grill
  • 04:30 Chengdu Living talks about their trip out
  • 07:00 Justin’s background in logistics
  • 07:50 The Iron Pig’s Chinese smokemaster and the differences between Chinese and American BBQ
  • 11:15 – 11:45 Interlude 1M. Ward HiFi
  • 11:45 Justin’s long history in China
  • 13:00 Justin knows a crane vendor
  • 15:00 Iron Pig’s Flower Town location is across the street from DOJO [link]
  • 17:45 Iron Pig’s relationship to the other American restaurants in Tongzilin
  • 18:20 The attitude you need to open a restaurant in China
  • 19:30 Regulations vs. reality
  • 21:30 Justin’s new cooking apparatuses
  • 26:00 Plans for the Tongzilin Iron Pig
  • 27:00 How has the menu evolved since they’ve opened and how does Justin choose new additions to the menu
  • 29:00 Educating the customer
  • 32:00 Western Entrepreneurship in the food and beverage industry in Chengdu
  • 35:00 Having the discipline to do what you’re great at instead of trying to do it all
  • 37:40 Justin gracefully deflects our compliments
  • 39:00 Eli spins a yarn about food blogs and barbecue and ritual-embedded spaces
  • 42:00 The difficulty at doing simple things well
  • 46:00 Mutual appreciation
  • 47:15 Where to get more info about Iron Pig + where to eat Iron Pig items, besides Iron Pig (Mike’s Pizza, Red Beard)

Recommendations Mentioned

Songs Featured in this Podcast

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3 Responses to “Podcast Ep. #16: Iron Pig American BBQ Comes to Chengdu”

  1. Because I live in Longquan I have been going to Iron Pig once a week, but I have never met Justin. I have only met Emma who is always helpful and friendly. They hosted a party for my Chinese friends mother a few weeks ago via my recommendation I was a bit nervous because I know most of them had never had western BBQ. Everybody at the party was in awe of the food. Just to note I nearly did cry on my first visit

    • Charlie

      That’s wonderful to hear. We think the Tongzilin location is going to be a smashing success. The food is certainly amazing, but the location is also excellent and there are many small details to the new restaurant that are done right. It’s been very exciting to see Iron Pig take shape over the last year and gratifying to play a role in spreading awareness of something which is so exceptional.

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