Wood Stone Corporate Chef Frank Milward recently traveled to Portland, Oregon to visit The Woodsman Tavern and their Chef, Jason Barwikowski. The Woodsman Tavern installed one of our new Josper units in January this year and Frank was eager and excited to see the piece in action. He wasn’t disappointed! “Owner Duane Sorenson has poured everything he has into the tavern. His positive attitude is reflected in just about everything and everyone that we interacted with at Woodsman,” said Chef Frank.
Chef Frank spent a day shadowing the crew in the kitchen at The Woodsman to observe how the unit was working and to gain some perspective on how to better support this piece in the field. Chef Frank shared, “Most of the staff are all-in at The Woodsman – they are there because they love being part of something real and something they can take ownership in. They know that every day will be different and a learning opportunity. They respond with integrity – because that is what has been modeled, and it shows.”
The Josper was fired in the morning with a few pounds of charcoal and wood (Woodsman primarily uses apple wood but they switch it up from time to time). They started the day by smoking some local handmade venison sausages, along with lentils and other menu compliments. As lunch approached, they increased the temperature in the Josper to cook half chickens, meats and roast vegetables. Shortly before dinner, the Josper was charged with even more charcoal to create an intense environment to deliver The Woodsman signature entrees and appetizers such as the cured ham, pork chops and according to Chef Frank, “The Off the Hook, Whole Roasted Trout”.
But with the installation of a shiny new toy (in the guise of a Josper by Wood Stone Charcoal Broiler Oven – only the 11th of its kind in the states), Woodsman Chef Jason Barwikowski opens up about the vibe of The Woodsman Tavern and the menu that has evolved, highlighting southern artisan ham, Pacific Northwest fresh catch, sausages and more. “It’s a unique product,” Barwikowski said, who has spent time in the kitchens of Tastebud and Ned Ludd to gather some “fire”cooking experience. “You don’t get the same flavor, even cooking with live wood, because the smoke goes up. It’s the raddest piece of equipment that I’ve ever cooked with in my life. It’s nuts! So simple but so capable; the most rewarding cooking tool I have ever used. At the same time, the Josper is a very artisan piece of equipment. It will continue to propel us forward while embracing local ingredients combined with traditional methods – it will keep us creative.”