“We are different from other joints in Toronto,” Adam Skelly says with a touch of Lone Star-style bravado, “because we’re the only authentic one.”
He and his girlfriend, Alison Hunt, are the co-owners of the just-opened Adamson Barbecue in Leaside. They serve a menu based on the classic traditions of central Texas: mainly beef, some pork, a little bit of turkey and very simple seasoning. It all comes from the Texas-made, 50-year-old Oyler smoker that can handle 1,500 pounds of meat.
“I cook using only wood,” Skelly explains. “No gas, no electric heat, certainly no bags of wood chips or chunks. I order wood by the bush cord.”
Specifically, it’s Canadian sugar maple and oak that he feeds into his stick burner. In another nod to local circumstances, he managed to install it so that it can be managed mostly indoors during the winter.
Skelly started his barbecue journey as a weekend hobbyist, but he decided to turn pro after successfully catering an office party. He used the deposit for his first wedding catering gig to buy the Stoke Stack food truck in 2013. Hunt bought out the other founding partner at the end of that year.
The catering experience, as well as a couple trips to Texas, have helped Skelly hone his craft.