Hello and welcome to my food blog Oak, Smoke and Barbeque Sauce. My name is Mark O’Brien and I am a chef working in Dublin, Ireland.

For as long as I can remember I loved food. Then when I was probably around thirteen, something changed. I started to cook. I helped my parents making dinner. I read cookbooks and recipe books and memoirs about the life of a chef. My Uncle, who had worked as a chef, started giving me little tips and tricks and when I tried them they really worked. All through school and college I was, unknown to myself, slowly working away on what would one day become my raison d’etre.

Many career ideas came and went, Medicinal Chemist, Event Manager and even Theatre Designer but it seemed that once they were all gone and I was only left with one choice it was clear that this was the only option I ever wanted or needed. I was going to become a chef.

So here I am, trying to become a chef, busting my balls in some of the best kitchens in Dublin. I don’t know what kind of chef I want to be but I know I’m not there yet, I’m still learning. I’m learning about how to cook a great steak, why some restaurants work and others don’t, what’s the best way to run a kitchen team, if there’s even such a thing as a good brunch anymore?

All I know is that I love smoke, the taste on crispy chicken skin and the smell on your clothes after an afternoon cook out. I love cold hands wrapped about a hot, tin foil clad, sandwich while striding down a busy city street. Each finger trying desperately to absorb as much heat as possible before the meal disappears into your eager maw. I love slow cooked meat that falls off the bone and melts down the back of your fork as you try to eat it.

I love food. I love cooking food. I love cooking food for people who love food. Sometimes I even love cooking food for people who don’t love food, just to mess with them.

This is Oak, Smoke and Barbeque Sauce. I hope you love the food like I do.

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The day to day misadventures of a trainee Barbeque Chef living in London.