Photography by Sean Hastings.

Photography by Sean Hastings.

Chef Chris Terlikar

Terlikar’s early career had its roots firmly in fine dining at the likes of Michelin star restaurant PUBLIC in New York, but a chance encounter with Hill Country style barbecue in Brooklyn led to a 12 week trip around Texas that revolutionised his style of cooking. In Texas, he was guided by pit boss heavyweights Tom Micklethwaite and Evan LeRoy, doing 18 hour stints to make the perfect brisket – a true labour of love. Since moving back to Melbourne Terlikar has made a name for Bluebonnet by developing a distinctive barbecue style which tips its hat to the thriving U.S. inspired food scene.  

Terlikar has always paired his barbecue with a whisky menu but has taken things a step further by opening a bar in his new site in Fitzroy North. Loretta’s recently won ‘Best New Bar’ at the Timeout Awards in January 2017.

He may have hand-built his first smoker out of a toolbox, a dishwasher pipe and a shed load of black heat proof paint but Terlikar’s new one is a beast of a machine; made out of a 500 gallon tank (280 kilos of barbecue to you and me). The pairing of such a powerful tool with Terlikar’s innovative techniques and near twenty years experience in the food industry unsurprisingly delivers insanely delicious results.