The man behind Melbourne's newest BBQ Restaurant
31 January, 2020
Josh Monteiro is a busy guy. Good busy. The ‘love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life’ slogan is often nauseating, but in the context of Josh’s life, it’s appropriate. He is the proud co-owner of three culinary ventures, still in their budding adolescence. The BBQ-style restaurant ‘Coal Blooded Griller’, specialty fried chicken virtual kitchen ‘Chick’nTing’ and the seasoning product ‘Umami Bomb’.
Josh rarely hears the name his parents gave him. For the longest time, he has
answered to his high-school nickname ‘Chang’, and Chang inherited a love of food, and its preparation, from his upbringing where something edible was seldom out of sight. The passion grew throughout his teen years, “it was always very experimental cooking to begin with. I’d bring a stack of mates home from the pub and prepare late night feeds, and I was always trying to throw it down for girlfriend’s parents as a means of impressing them”.
'If Josh’s cuisine demanded definition, ‘sophisticated bloke food’ may be somewhat accurate'
Josh’s mother’s talent for Malaysian and Thai cooking bequeathed him an affection for all things spicy, and in 2014 he launched ‘Changz Hot Sauce’. After a stint as the kitchen boss at Melbourne’s iconic Easeys, Josh opened the doors to Changz Canteen in Elsternwick, which took little time to earn a reputation for its classic burgers, fried chicken and a ‘blink and you missed it’ specials board. If Josh’s cuisine demanded definition, ‘sophisticated bloke food’ may be somewhat accurate, but his propensity to cross the boundaries of culinary styles makes the convenience of categorisation wholly inappropriate. At Changz Canteen, hot sauce and beer were dominant themes, and were always paired in calculated fashion with the dynamic and constantly evolving menu.
For Josh, much was learned from the Changz Hotsauce and Changz Canteen ventures, of which he sold his stake in late 2017, not least of which was the self-realisation that his passion was very much ‘the thrill of the chase’. The conquestial nature of building brands bodes well with his creativity and habit of experimentation, and it was a menu consultation gig which lead to his co-ownership of the Brighton restaurant ‘Coal Blooded Griller’ (CBG).
'we’re not restricting what we can put on the menu by labelling ourselves as a particular type of BBQ restaurant'
CBG steers away from classification as American or Texas BBQ. For Chang, such a label would merely constrain his innovation. “The foundation of Coal Blooded Griller is smoked meat, but we’re not restricting what we can put on the menu by labelling ourselves as a particular type of BBQ restaurant, and wouldn’t consider ourselves to be cooking what constitutes as traditional BBQ.” The most recent menu releases maintain the staple offerings of brisket, pork ribs, sausages and pork shoulder, but seeks to diversify the selections of burgers and sides. Where some traditional BBQ restaurants often treat sides as an inconvenience or afterthought, CBG produces menu items which not only compliment the smoked meats, but demand equal attention, many of which feature Umami Bomb seasoning and an array of house-made hot sauces and marinades.
Given the sizeable operational and developmental demands associated with co-owning three companies, Josh could be forgiven for taking the time to breathe and consolidate. But with his 2020 schedule already featuring a research trip to Japan, along with plans to push Chick’nTing’s availability into more pockets of Melbourne, it would appear such things are not even a consideration.
Coal Blooded Griller
TUES TO THURS : 12PM - 9PM
FRI & SAT : 12PM - 9:30PM
SUN : 12PM - 9PM
146 Martin Street, Brighton