Cedric Fisher - What's Cookin'
"Maybe the Best Kept Brisket Recipe Secret in San Antonio" - or so they say!
I consider myself a barbeque connoisseur. I’ve traveled—and will travel—for a great slab of ribs, brisket, sausage, sauce, and special sides. Recently, I’ve heard a lot of rave about a little-known brisket recipe in town that merits the status of some of the oldest, established Que-ers in the region. Of course, being the aficionado that I am, I had to search this mystery out. Our art director, Evan Silva, and I went out and met the chef behind all this rave. My initial impression was—this is a youngster. No way would he have the experience a veteran barbeque chef would have to receive this popular acclaim.
INFLUENCE Magazine would like to introduce you to Alan McKinney, the twenty-five-year-old chef exquisite behind a much-talked-about brisket recipe and the future coming of Big Alan’s Café.
We sat down for a candid conversation with Alan at Fralo’s Pizzeria (where he’s currently employed as a cook) to experience his brisket and special barbeque sauce. Wow! Okay, I became an instant believer. Alan’s brisket recipe, flavor, texture, and attention to detail are right up there with some of the best I’ve ever tasted. His signature sauce isn’t too bad either.
INFLUENCE: Where are you from?
Alan: Born and raised on San Antonio’s north side.
INFLUENCE: What was your childhood like?
Alan: My grandmother took care of me while my parents worked. She taught me to cook, although I learned to barbeque from my dad.
INFLUENCE: When did you decide you wanted to cook for a career?
Alan: When I was around eight years old. I was already making my own recipes like macaroni and cheese. I also have some of my grandmother’s recipes.
INFLUENCE: What’s one thing that would surprise people about your famed brisket recipe?
Alan: Without giving away my trade secrets, I’d have to say time and attention to my preparation process. I use mesquite wood and prefer choice meats. I use a variety of unique spices with a special emphasis on time and temperature in cooking. My barbeque sauce is also a family secret that I owe to my grandfather whom I never had the opportunity to meet.
INFLUENCE: What are your future career aspirations?
Alan: I plan to start a food truck known as Big Alan’s Café and may publish a cookbook of my grandmother’s recipes. My lunch truck will feature brisket, pulled pork, fried hamburger balls, fried buffalo chicken balls, cream corn, and pinto beans. Ultimately, I plan to own a full service restaurant some day.
Alan McKinney is available for catering at 210.425.0085. Look him up on Facebook.
- Cedric Fisher
Photography - Evan Silva
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