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Canadians!?!? Doing Barbeque!?!?

A few words from Ryan and Tina Odette...
We've always loved barbeque, but then, who doesn't? We feel about it the way we feel about each other, our families, our hometown, our favourite jeans, the sofa we lounge on (when we have time)...it's one of the great comforts in our lives. Things just aren't the same for us if we're away from any of them for very long.

Nolansville Dispatch

Ryan and Tina Odette were interviewed by a reporter from the Nolensville Dispatch while visiting their friend Pat Martin to learn the barbeque trade.

Some people are surprised to learn that we don't eat fancy French food every night, despite Ryan's classic training. We're still just regular folk, and though Mamo Bistro was our first restaurant, and though we still have fond memories of those four and a half years, we believed that our hometown needed something different. An everyday restaurant to "hang out" at...somewhere more suited to the typical Windsor family, but unlike all other family restaurants...somewhere that more people we knew might visit more often instead of just on special occasions...where the food might not be so fancy, but would still be every bit as tasty and prepared with great care...somewhere very comfortable! From that feeling, Smoke & Spice Southern Barbeque was born. We hope you'll visit soon, and that you'll agree...this is Windsor's home of southern barbeque. Ryan and Tina

Where DID This Idea Come From?

Ryan Odette already knew how to cook. He'd been doing it for years, working in the industry at a variety of restaurants. From fast-paced greasy spoons, to some of the finest restaurants in North America, the transforming of raw foodstuffs into tasty entrees was nothing new to him. After only a year and a half of running Mamo Bistro (which continued to operate for another three), Ryan decided that his next restaurant had to be something that would be more accessible to the hard-working "Average Joe". Counting himself among them, he longed to have the type of restaurant that he might visit a lot. A place where a handful of pals might get a pitcher of beer and some tasty grub, and where your average family would be able to feast on delicious fare without breaking the bank.

It's not that what he was doing at Mamo didn't have a market, merit, and give him a sense of accomplishment. The restaurant, nestled in the Olde Riverside area, was very well received and was recognized and highly rated by The Windsor Star, The Detroit News, and The Metro Times. Things were actually going along very well. Still, the feeling that his beloved hometown "needed something different" continued to plague the young restaurateur. A handful of really good concepts were discussed, but it wasn't long after the brainstorming started, that southern barbeque was the one he settled on.

The rest, as they say, is history...a history which began with an impromptu friendship. Below, you can read an article that appeared in the Nolensville Dispatch shortly after Ryan and his wife Tina had visited their new friend Pat Martin at his barbeque joint, just a quick jaunt from Nashville, Tennessee.

Volume 10, Issue 6

Friday, March 23, 2007

The influence of Patrick Martin, owner of Martin's BBQ Joint in Nolensville, goes far and wide. During the week of March 11, Ryan and Tina Odette, from Windsor, Ontario, Canada came down to spend their vacation with Martin to learn how to make BBQ. That's where their adventure began.

The Odette's own Mamo Bistro in Windsor, Ontario. Their three-year-old family-owned bistro has earned a reputation for fine dining along with a flair for exotic seasonal dishes such as white truffles, wild salmon, venison, caribou, and elk. They support their local farmers with fresh vegetables and fruit during the season. Ryan also offers cooking classes and private wine dinners at Mamo's.

Odette's plans to open a unique BBQ restaurant prompted his internet search for the best BBQ in the south. That search led Ryan to find Patrick Martin on the culinary website www.egullet.com. The site where everybody who is anybody in the restaurant business around the world swaps stories, recipies, and tricks-of-the-trade to their fellow chefs.

After several conversations, over several months, through the online forums, Martin received a phone call from Canada asking if Ryan and his wife, Tina, could come down for a week and work for Martin's BBQ for free and learn how real slow-cooked BBQ is done in the south. After Patrick Martin shook the stun off, he could say nothing but, "Yes!, Come on down!"

During the week, Martin treated his guests to several local chef-owned restaurants and BBQ chains. The Odette's spent the first three days of their vacation learning the whole process of how and why Martin's BBQ is so unique and mouth-watering. Next, the Odette's traveled to Henderson, TN to learn a different style of BBQ, cooking a whole hog on an open pit. Then, they went on to Memphis to get another taste for different cooking styles.

Both Ryan and Tina Odette grew up in Windsor, a blue-collar city in southern Ontario, Canada, south of Detroit, where auto manufacturing is the main industry. Ryan lived in New Orleans for a time while learning some deep south cooking. Ryan said, "There is such a history behind BBQ, a unique food, we think it will go over well in Ontario." "Martin's has been our favorite place in Nashville we have eaten, and we have eaten a lot since we have been here. The food is fresh and it is a comfortable atmosphere as Patrick visits with the customers."

Ryan continues, "When we get back home, we will look for a good location and pattern our new restaurant after Martin's in menu, hours, style, etc.". With blues the music of choice in Windsor, the Odettes, at some point, may even feature some live blues nights to encourage the locals to their restaurant.

The Odettes are excited about returning to their home with new ideas to begin their newest restaurant venture. It has been a fun time for Tina also. As Tina said, "Tell every woman in the world to marry a chef."