Jimmy Macken


Jimmy and Tam Macken relocated to Hawke’s Bay from Auckland in 2015, bringing with them their long burning passion for low-and-slow American BBQ. 

After spending 20 years as café owners and caterers to the film industry in Auckland, the couple’s many visits to America and their love for smoky, meltingly delicious BBQ meats proved overwhelming.  Jimmy had been cooking over wood for years and the next logical step was to go to the source and explore the roots of Texas style BBQ. 

After a 1500 mile road trip eating some of the best BBQ in the state and learning from chefs, they sourced a genuine Texas built pit-smoker and shipped it back home. 

Then began a journey of discovery in New Zealand, working with suppliers to perfect local versions of American meat cuts, experimenting with local timbers and attending master classes with Jim Johnson, a BBQ competition champion. They didn't stop there, becoming accredited Kansas City BBQ Society judges and recently returned to the States to explore the BBQ of America’s South, through North and South Carolina. 

The meat the Mackens produce is the genuine article; pork spare ribs that would be at home in a competition, beef ribs ready to slide off giant bones, and brisket that Jimmy will spend 18 hours carefully tending in the smoker. It's all part of the ethos of nose-to-tail eating, respect for the tradition of fire and meat, and a belief that good things take time and deserve to be done right. 

Hawke’s Bay is the perfect place to provide the quality of meat they like to use and the apple and peach wood to smoke it with.  Jimmy and Tamryn are delighted to be adding their own passion to an area rich with brewers, winemakers, producers and food lovers.

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