What’s in a name?

When I was first thinking about creating a blog, the concept for what would be in the blog was fairly straightforward but coming up with a name was a whole other animal!

So how do you come up with a blog name? Well, luckily for me, I have an amazing partner who also teaches Digital Marketing for Durham College. Charlene has her students create blogs and requires them to be industry related and professional but also memorable…..no she did not come up with the name but she helped guide me in the initial thought process. As she said “this is your blog Gavin, not mine so you have to own the name given to it and be confident in the message you want to create.” It was good advice and the brainstorming began…but not in the typical fashion as you may think.

You see, normal brainstorming would involve sitting down with a paper and pen and just start writing down whatever comes to mind. With me, well my brain would process possible names and I would blurt them out whenever Charlene and I were hanging out together. It didn’t matter if we were having breakfast or driving in the car or working in the gardens or just vegging in front of the TV at night, my ideas just came out. Here are a few of the initial names that I spouted off that didn’t make the cut..for obvious reasons:

  •  Meaty Goodness
  • Down South in the North
  • Swine ‘n Dine
  • Low, Slow and in the Know
  • I don’t have a “Que” what’s going on.

Ok, that gives you the idea of what my poor spouse put up with and thankfully she kindly nudged me away from all of these plus the oodles of other odd concepts and suggested that I keep at it. So how did “Earth, Meat & Fire” come to be?

No, it’s not because I’m a fan of a certain musical band from the 70’s but in a moment of divine intervention, the words just came together and it made sense. Earth (because I live on 73 acres and I believe in the farm-to-table movement), Meat (well, that’s just a given) and Fire (due to the process of how BBQ is cooked).

There it is, simple and to the point. I hope you agree. 🙂



BBQ in the Big Apple?


As the map here shows, BBQ is typically a southern USA tradition. From Virginia to Florida over to Texas into Tennessee and everywhere in between, barbecue is a way of life and there is even heated discussion over where exactly in the South is the birthplace of smoking meat over low heat.

So who would have ever thought that New York City would become a host to a large southern BBQ celebration. The city of hustle and bustle, Madison Ave, exorbitant real estate prices and thousands of AAA restaurants where amuse bouches are the “de rigeur” is transformed, if only for a moment, into a down home cookout called the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party…and it is truly awesome.

Each year for two days in the month of June, Madison Square Park is the scene for authentic BBQ made by traditional pit masters who travel far and wide to put on a show and live performances from musical artists specializing in rock and blues. The best part…its all FREE admittance! Yes, just pony up, smell the “Q” and enjoy the music. When your hunger level starts going off the charts, just saddle up to one of your favorite pit masters and you can purchase a plate of fresh and ready BBQ. Life does not get any better than that!

I was fortunate enough back in 2011 to be able to attend this amazing event. My spouse, Charlene, was living in NYC that summer as she was doing an internship at the United Nations. The weekend I visited her just happened to be the one when this party was taking place and we definitely didn’t want to miss out.

Here are a couple pics of the legendary Ed Mitchell who introduced me to whole hog bbq and how amazing food can come out of something that looked like a homemade oil drum. Needless to say my world was turned upside down as I had never been this close to the inner workings of a true southern pit.

NYC BBQ Festival Whole Hog NYC





I know there are a million things to see and do in NYC but if you happen to wind up in town around June, this is one amazing event that you do not want to miss…I know its on my to-do list again!