BATAVIA – Two Batavia natives busy growing their barbecue catering business will bring their specialties to a variety of fall events.
Team FIB – the company's shorthand for Flatlanders Incredible BBQ – is run by Bryan Whipple of North Aurora and Sean Trowbridge of Batavia.
The two friends still have their regular careers, but founded Team FIB BBQ Caterers because of a passion for smoking meats.
"We've been doing it on a public level for about three years now, but we've been barbecuing with [our] family members since we were kids doing pig roasts and backyard barbecues," Whipple said.
The two will even give up sleep to the cooking process required by their two smokers, a style that Whipple dubs "old school low and slow," referring to the low temperature and time necessary for the right balance.
"Every hour [or] about every hour and a half, [you] have to add wood to the fire … by hand," Whipple said. "You've got to have patience to make good barbecue."
He said they primarily use apple and cherry wood for the flavor and mixed hardwoods for heat.
Team FIB is known for such dishes as pulled pork sliders, brisket sliders, barbecue nachos prepared with pulled pork or brisket, plus a dish called loaded barbecue, featuring fresh-cut fries loaded up with a choice of barbecue and topping, Whipple said.
Their fans will find them at a variety of locations in coming weeks. They will be at the Batavia Farmers' Market on Sept. 22. This year, they started selling their own barbecue sauce in addition to serving barbecue. On Sept. 15, they'll be at the Batavia live auction festivities for Bulldogs Unleashed.
At the Sept. 29 Cock-a-Doodle Brew Fest at Hollywood Casino in Aurora, they will debut their own take on chicken wings with buffalo sauce or roasted jalapeño.
And Team FIB will donate a pig to the annual pig roast fundraiser planned Oct. 20 to support Valley Sheltered Workshop in Batavia. Whipple said his late mother, Donna Whipple, who inspired his love of cooking, was long affiliated with the event, and he was happy to help bring back the benefit.
"We donate our time; we donate all of our equipment for the event," he said. "It's a really good event for a really good organization."
He and Trowbridge have been saving money toward acquiring a concession trailer. Whipple said they are close to the goal, and hope to have it in operation by spring.
He said the 32-foot trailer is equipped with an open patio to house a smoker.
"The rest is enclosed – a wholly mobile … fully stocked kitchen," Whipple said. "For [a] festival, you roll in, open the doors and cook and serve right out of it – like a food truck."
He said it might offer luncheon possibilities, as well.
"We never anticipated things going this far," Whipple said. "We'll go with the flow and grow as we can. … We both feel that there's a bright future for it. We're hoping with the trailer [to] possibly take on a couple employees to lighten the load on us and grow the business even more."
Using their catering services, customers can order just meat or have Team FIB BBQ provide everything from the main course and sides to plates and utensils. For more information, visit teamfibbbq.com.