Real-deal Kansas City-style barbecue has arrived in Orange County with the launch of Ember BBQ in Santa Ana under the watchful direction of Chefs Derrick Foster and Kylie Gordon. Chef Derrick was born and raised in Kansas City.
Ember BBQ is located within Native Son Alehouse. Ember BBQ serves a limited “Snack Menu” on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a full “Smokehouse Menu” Thursday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.
With an on-site smoker, Chef Derrick stays true to Kansas City-style barbecue tradition and history by featuring a variety of meats rubbed with a blend of spices and slow-smoked over hickory wood. His “Smokehouse Menu” features sliced-to-order 1855 Certified Angus Beef Brisket from Colorado, St. Louis Ribs, Smoked Chicken, and Pulled Pork.
He showcases creativity in dishes such as Hogchos, his take on traditional nachos, using chicharron in place of tortilla chips, topped with pulled pork, smoked cheese sauce, pork jerky, pickled onion, sour cream, jalapenos and his housemade BBQ sauce.
Traditional sides are prepared with the utmost attention, including his Rancho Gordo BBQ Beans, which are peppered with brisket burnt ends; Cheesy Corn, which features a Mornay sauce and fresh-off-the-cobb corn; and made-from-scratch traditional banana pudding.
“Kansas City has more than 100 barbecue joints and many have national recognition – I’m trying to bring some of that excitement to Orange County,” explains Chef Derrick, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park who has worked in the kitchens of Corton, The Musket Room, The Rieger and Le Bernardin. “This is definitely food that requires patience and passion, and I’m excited to share my love for it with local diners.”
Kansas City-style barbecue refers to the specific regional style of slowly smoked meats that originated in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri. Chef Derrick’s menu showcases a wide variety of meats, from pork and sausage, to chicken and beef, including Burnt Ends, which are distinctive to Kansas City.
We’re getting fired up with Chef Derrick.