Born and raised on the westside of Chicago, my love for grilling started with my mother Gerri Bryant and my father Levy Bryant. At the young age of ten, she taught me to first prep your meats and the grill. I studied the gentle “SHAKE” of her wrist, spreading spices on to the meats to be grilled. She once allowed me to turn the meat and that’s when I knew! To see the juices and color excited me and I eventually got better and could grill at our family events. I later decided to join the United States Navy. Little did I know that this choice would change my life forever. Being stationed in Yokosuka, Japan opened my eyes to a different side of cooking. Experiencing all the different flavors and spices from countries like Singapore, Malaysia Penang, Hong Kong, Thailand, Abu Dhabi, Australia, and a host of other countries. My pallet was tested, and I believe in good food!
I made a name for myself when I introduced the “FYE WINGZ” to a few people at a House Music party. A whole wing seasoned to perfection and grilled/smoked up brown and juicy. Boom…it took off from there and I began to add meats like Salmon, shrimp, lamb and turkey – remembering that gentle “SHAKE” from my mom. The word began to spread, and people were coming from all over to get these “FYE WINGZ”! This led to “DING PICK UP SUNDAY’S” …a blessing of sorts. Customers were able to order the day before and give me their pick-up time and I’d have the order ready fresh off the grill. Now I’m being asked to cater parties and grilling onsite. The customer wanting to give their guest that experience of fresh off the grill.
In 2012 I loved grilling so much that I created the Urban Myth Cook Off. A grilling competition for those who believed in the craft. What started out on the patio grew into an event that drew hundreds and I was proud to see all the people that would come out in support of us grillers. We’ve had the event 8 straight years and I can say that of the 8, I walked away with 4 titles with a nice 3peat. I’ve also competed in the Forest Park Rib Fest 3 times 2017-2019, finishing in the top ten each year that featured 25 grillers and my highest placement was 5th.
Catering has been my way of getting noticed in the industry. Grilling for the United Way 4 straight years, serving over 300 ComEd employees was a true test and proved to me that the name Urban Smoke Café had arrived. I plan to make a change in my community. Urban Smoke Café will represent all the long hours and sleepless nights that come with making sure the customer leaves wanting more. The vision for our location is to provide a space where you and your family can come sit down and enjoy all the grilled and smoked meats of the Urban Smoke Café. We sit boldly on the corner 6134-38 W. North avenue and look forward to serving you.
Urban Smoke Cafe LLC
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