Inside the pit with Grilling Shilling
Presented by My House NOLA
My House NOLA recently sat down and talked barbecue with New Orleans native Richard Shelling, owner of BBQ food truck Grilling Shilling and Pitt Master at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency.
Although the mobile and pop-up food scene in New Orleans just recently became a sensationalized trend, these entities’ presences in the city are by no means new. Before the food truck roundups and push for less prohibitive food truck laws, Grilling Shilling had been serving call-your-mama-good grilled specialities all over town.
Grilling Shilling may have been parked alongside local curbs for a number of years, but Shelling’s journey to a barbecue begins long before the days of his truck.
During the early 90’s, in his pre-grill master days, Shelling, who currently holds over 30 years of cooking experience, worked as a meat manager at Albertson’s Grocery store, where he was frequently asked to barbecue for employee events, evincing Shelling of his talent with a grill. Soon after receiving many great critiques from friends, family, and coworkers, Shelling realized he had to eventually make a BBQ business how own reality. In between his days of grilling at Albertson’s employee functions and launching his food truck, Shelling held positions as seafood manager for 4 years and meat manager at Whole Foods for 7 years. Finally after seeing meat-crazed New Orleanians’ praise for his baby back ribs, Shelling set out to bring his own barbecue business into fruition.
The food truck (which Shelling designed himself), or “grilling trailer,” as Shelling refers to it, serves food that goes beyond the basic barbecue menu of ribs and brisket; though all Grilling Shilling’s proteins are, as its name suggests: grilled, they serve a broad spectrum of meats -- from green onion sausage to juicy turkey burgers to tender mounds of brisket, gleaming racks of ribs to an unconventional iteration of sausage consisting of salmon. And like any good BBQ provider, Grilling Shilling offers a handful of sides, such as cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad. Of the conception of his menu, Shelling says he aims to combine fresh ingredients in innovative ways -- for instance adding green onion to his pork-based sausages.
So what exactly has made Grilling Shilling a successful food venture? Shelling says his innate innovativeness and creativity has helped him produce delicious products that people continue coming back for. Well that, plus that fact that all of Shelling’s start-up money came from his personal savings, so “failure wasn’t an option,” Shelling adds.
“Seeing my business grow from nothing only heightens my hopes for my future business. It lets me know that my business will have continuous growth, perhaps branching into a restaurant!” says of Grilling Shillings evolution and future.
To stay up to date on Grilling Shilling’s meats and whereabouts, follow them on Facebook.
Check back on Friday for a grill recipe from Shelling’s personal files.
You can catch Shelling and get your summer BBQ groove on on June 1st at the “Great American Pop-Up,” co-hosted by My House NOLA and Good Eggs NOLA. The pop-up will feature stacked barbecue plates from Grilling Shilling as well as an open beer bar option. Tickets are $15 for a food only and $25 for food and open beer bar. Guests are invited to arrive to the Good Eggs warehouse (1746 A Tchoupitoulas) at 6:30 PM to mingle; dinner will be served at 7 PM.