MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis-based entrepreneur is taking backyard barbecues for a new spin, and he hopes you're buying.
Blake Carson is the inventor of the Carson Rodizio Brazilian BBQ kit.
Hatched in the cooking lab of his Cooper-Young backyard, the kit is designed to fit on most gas, charcoal and smoker grills (check your specs against his!). It turns your grill into a slow-spinning, Brazilian-style barbecue that blows the lid off of basic grilling.
"We're taught that good food must be grilled under a lid," said Carson. "It's like, 'Whatcha got under that lid? Look at my bacon-wrapped gator! Woo-hoo!' Well, why are you hiding it under a lid? It would have been cool if I had walked in and saw that! Why cover that up? Because you were taught to? You were taught wrong."
Years ago, Carson moved to Brazil to play professional soccer. He marveled at the Brazilians' brand of barbecue: slow-cook, open flame, spin-on-a-skewer-for-everyone-to-see. When he moved back to the United States, he became a professional gaucho to gun-sling skewers at a Colorado Brazilian steakhouse. The experiences inspired him to come up with a backyard kit that could convert nearly everyone's home grills into a Brazilian spin-and-cook entertainment centers.
"To be able to visually watch the meat spin and come over, slice it off, have a good time," he said. "Keep the good times rolling! Keep it spinning! Pull from the bottom, put it up top, go back to your party!"
We invited Chef Gary Williams to the party. The executive chef of DeJAVU's New Orleans cuisine downtown and in South Memphis knows good food and a good time. One taste of what comes out of the Carson Rodizio convinced him to join the revolving revolution.
"He's got it figured out," Williams said of Carson's backyard dream. "Blake's 100 percent!"
The Carson Rodizio kit reminded Brazilian-born Rodrigo Garcia so much of home, he bought one.
"It's the same way we cook in Brazil and the same way we have fun in Brazil," Garcia said. "It just brings us back home."
Home -- in the backyard -- taking a bite of a new spin on barbecue that's simply too fun and juicy to keep a secret anymore.
"I want you to leave here going, 'I don't know what the hell happened, but I had a good time!'"