Desert Oak Barbecue

I can still remember the first time I tried Richard Funk’s (my step-dad) brisket for the first time, on that day, I never could have imagined that people would say his brisket was their favorite menu item, much less that my family would have a restaurant, because that first brisket was horrible.

I grew up in El Paso, Texas, so I was used to my steak rare, my brisket marinated in claude sauce, and more Mexican food than Richard could have ever imagined. Rich (I’m going to call him that from here on out because I’m just used to it) grew up all over the place.

I’ve always enjoyed his early childhood stories of growing up in Sardinia, Italy, his adolescence in New York City, his teenage years in San Diego, California, and the endless laughs he’s given our family telling of his time serving in The United States Navy all around the globe. I’ve always admired how much he knows about food, I joke with him that he’s ruined just about every food I’ve ever enjoyed.

I can’t find good Italian food anywhere other than our family’s kitchen, but the first time I tried that brisket, well it just wasn’t good. I didn’t realize the amount of passion he had discovered in cooking meat using fire, and I had no idea my mother, Suzanne Funk, had ignited that passion.

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