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Nate Rockwell


Since I was a kid, I have always had an obsession with food.  At 6 years old, I was making my own recipes out of the "Fishes and Loaves" cookbook.  By 10 I was helping out in the communal kitchen at Koinonia Farms in the Plains Georgia area, where village chef "Queenie" would let only the most careful assistants complete her famous pan-fired okra recipe.  At 16 I took my first restaurant job "flipping burgers" and found myself in a management position before I was 17.  From there it was a tour de force working my way through a dozen our more restaurants, learning skills, developing knowledge, and becoming the type of all-around restaurant operator it takes to be an owner.

In 2009, I took the plunge.  I wrote the business plan for Briquettes Smokehouse, usually between the hours of midnight and 4am after my Executive Chef gig at a restaurant I had just helped to get open with some former employees.  By May, co-founder John Senger and I were going full bore to get the doors open.  The next twelve years seem to have gone in fast forward as the business grew, the location changed two times, my wife (Elisabeth) and I have added four more children to the one we already had, and the neighborhood around us grew and flourished.

I couldn't be more proud of where we have come from, who we have become, and the ethos we keep planning for the future.