Barry Sorkin a former IT professional who left his safe and comfortable career to pursue his dream of bringing his passion for great regional American BBQ to the Chicago restaurant scene. Mr. Sorkin spent over a year researching the industry, developing the concept, writing a detailed business plan, finding a location, securing financing, fine-tuning recipes, managing the buildout, and planning the opening.
The result was SMOQUE BBQ, a little BBQ joint that opened in 2006 and quickly developed a reputation for serving some of the best BBQ in Chicago and garnered national attention for bringing real Southern BBQ to the big city. In its first two years, SMOQUE was featured in dozens of media outlets including Bon Appetit, Gourmet, The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and The New York Times.
Mr. Sorkin is also co-founder of the Illinois BBQ Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting BBQ in Illinois and leveraging the BBQ community to feed those in need.