The legend of Tequila Sheila is a simple story that has developed over many years. The story begins with the destruction of my mother’s kitchen while trying to copy an omelet recipe from a TV show circa 1980. Needless to say, much time has passed and many dishes served since that terrible omelet was discarded.
Since the “omelet episode,” I have let my curiosity guide me through different cooking styles, methods, and tastes. At my core, I found the act of shopping, prepping, cooking, and eating (and drinking) to be relaxing and fun. To cook for my family and friends remains a key focus and hobby in my life. Smile, Drink, Smell, Taste, and Enjoy.
After marrying a Texan, I became fascinated with open-fire cooking and Texas Style smoked meat. After a memorable trip to Texas, I returned home to find a small indirect heat smoker at my house….a birthday present from my mother-in-law. The small smoker now named “Lil’ Sheila” was used for much experimenting – methods, wood, and temperatures. After 5 years of backyard barbecues and mini tailgate parties, I developed a notion for a larger smoker. I wanted a larger smoker for the same reason a recreational boat captain wants a bigger boat….just because.
In April 2010, I met with my cooking mentor outside of Austin to share recipes, tell lies, and discuss large smokers. After some discussion, we traveled to nearby Kelly Customer Cookers to meet with James Kelly and tour his shop. After some mutual design work and feature review, the new cooker was commissioned. The new cooker was even bigger than planned. No longer a backyard BBQ, I had commissioned a 15 ft trailer smoker!!
In May 2010, I traveled back to Texas to take possession. It was a long drive from Bastrop, TX back to Nashville…..many hours to think about my wife’s response to her Mother’s Day gift! Although the gift idea was not too successful, the hours spent cooking on the smoker since May 2010 have yielded many great returns.
The smoker and I quickly began entertaining groups of friends and family around Middle Tennessee. After many events, it was established that the smoker needed a name. What to name the smoker? Brilliant ideas and names do not arise from focus groups or brainstorming sessions….they simply occur. “Tequila Sheila” is no different. After much thought, the name appeared during a listening session involving tequila and outlaw country music. Tequila Sheila was born.
Since the naming, Tequila Sheila has continued to entertain people throughout Middle Tennessee. She has become a symbol of leisure, fun, and delicious food.