By Clay Williams
As reported a couple weeks ago, Little Brother, the new barbecue venture by Smoke Joint and Peaches owners Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman, recently opened on Clinton Avenue, between Atlantic and Fulton in Clinton Hill. All Little Brother’s meats are humanely raised and antibiotic and hormone-free, and they source their produce from small local farms whenever they can.
Last month, Ben and Craig allowed me into the kitchen as they put the new space through its paces and on opening night, as they took their first orders.
Ben heaves half a pig - and its head - into the smoker.
Grossman and Samuel first met in 1997. Parallel career paths had them working together at a number of restaurants around New York before they opened Smoke Joint in 2006.
The smoker at Little Brother is also used to prep barbecue for the other restaurants.
The smoker is powered by hickory logs.
On my first visit to the kitchen, Craig and Ben were testing spice rub recipes on a suckling pig. First, they had to cut it in half.
John Hoffer, General Manager of Little Brother, was there to assist in the kitchen tests.
On opening night, John and Nesim Bekalti, a chef and now front-of house-manager, look through tickets from orders taken at Hot Bird, the bar next door.
Chopped smoked beef becomes a topping for all sorts of dishes.
That includes barbecue beef hot dogs.
Clay Williams is a Brooklyn-based photographer and blogger known online as UltraClay. He has covered food and events for Bon Appetit, Edible Manhattan and Midtown Lunch.