Since the beginning of the year, Ginger & Smoke has been tantalizing eaters with its barbequed meats, popping up all over the island at events like Fishcake’s “Sunday Fishmarket” and The Box Jelly’s “Bike to Work Day Pau Hana.” Boyer and Ohtoro met at Sweet Home Waimanalo, where Boyer trained Ohtoro to grill and smoke meats. After a visit to the café from Guy Fieri as part of his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives—Fieri loved their pulled pork—the two grillers found the push they needed to launch this new food venture.

True to Hawai‘i’s fusion-food stylings, Ohtoro and Boyer indentify their barbecue concept as “progressive,” a blend of the familiar smoke-and-barbecue taste with original recipes, local ingredients whenever possible, and new flavor profiles, drawing influences from their childhoods spent in Los Angeles and Saipan. Picture baby back ribs with Persian spices served alongside jalapeño cornbread. They buy all their vegetables at local farmers markets, are looking for a consistent meat purveyor, and match their menu to the season.


Try Ginger & Smoke creations at Art+Flea on Sept. 25. Follow them on Facebook or @GingerandSmoke on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.


We asked the guys at Ginger & Smoke for a few tips for barbecuing at home:

– When grilling, the key is to not move or touch the meats or veggies a lot. You have to get a good sear on it first, which will make handling easier.

– Over-seasoning can be too much sometimes, let the product shine through.

– Learn how to turn your grill into a smoker! A smoker uses indirect flames, allowing the smoke to cook the food. This can be done with foil, foil pans, pots, and some ingenuity. There are many tutorials available for your specific grill, and many come with accompanying recipes. Finish smoked meats on the grill for some caramelizing.

– Let your meat sit before and after you barbecue it. Season or marinate meats in the fridge for an hour or up to one week in the freezer. Bring your meat to near-room temperature before smoking, keeping it as dry as possible. This ages your meat and gives it more flavor.

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Try these quick, easy recipes:

1.) Marinate chicken in Yoshida’s sauce with a good amount of mirin and chili pepper, then grill or smoke.

2.) For a refreshing green papaya “koko” as it’s called in Saipan and Guam, thinly slice one green papaya and soak in salt and water for one hour. Pickle the cut papaya in 2-3 cups white distilled vinegar. Add 3-4 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 2-3 Hawaiian chili peppers, salt and black pepper to taste, and some Maui sweet onions to contrast. Goes amazing with BBQ!

3.) And since everyone loves bacon, try marinating it with maple syrup, then grilling over a direct flame. Careful with this one: limit grilling to two strips at a time.