Chef Q&A: Dan Ashby, BBQ 50

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Dan Ashby is the owner/pitmaster of BBQ 50, one of our Best Bets for BBQ in Orlando. They specialize in Kentucky BBQ and Southern-style sides using family recipes passed down for generations, which are available at their permanent spot at Marketplace in Avalon Park and via catering.

An Interview with Dan Ashby

What’s your favorite place to eat locally, and why? Se7en Bites in downtown Orlando –their food reminds me of home.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to eat for one week, where would it be? Austin, Texas. Its the perfect blend of BBQ, beer and Tex-Mex cuisine!

Who had the biggest influence on the way you cook, and why? My grandmothers. I could see — and feel — the love that they put into each dish. A simple meal was always quite the event. Sunday dinner was always a deep South, finger-licking experience.

What’s your go-to meal at home? Easy. I keep a pot of red sauce on the stove for a couple of days….I’ll dip bread, eat as a soup or top my favorite noodle with it.

What was your favorite lunch as a kid? My elementary school cafeteria’s American chop suey — the bomb!

What’s your guilty junk-food pleasure? It’s a tie between Corn Nuts and plain M&M’s.

What 3 things are in your fridge at all times? Pickles, a variety of BBQ sauces in test stage and my family-recipe moonshine.

Dream Job and Career Advice

If you weren’t a chef, what would your dream job be? I always wanted to be a stay-at-home dad. Being involved at that level means the absolute world to me.

What advice would you share with chefs just beginning their careers? Stick to what you think you are great at…ask for criticism and don’t skimp on great ingredients and the best equipment!

What’s one thing you would change about the Orlando food scene? Have more late night dining, outside of the Denny’s and Perkins of the world.

For more Chef Q&A’s, visit our archives.

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