Meet the Owner


Northern Smoke is a new concept on the BBQ scene. Established in November 2013 by Chris DeRuzza, combining the best of regional southern-style BBQ with a northeastern twist.

While you’ll find your traditional fare on the menu – from smoked brisket, pulled pork, and chicken to homemade cole slaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese and cornbread – you’ll also find creative combinations of spices and ingredients from cultures commonly found in the melting pot that is the northeastern United States. In addition to Chris’ homemade seasonal sauces selections, you can enjoy BBQ-inspired burritos, Philly-style sandwiches, and a variety of seasonal sides such as roasted Brussels sprouts with apple wood smoked bacon and caramelized onions, and sweet Asian garlic chili collard greens.

Feeling creative? Then you’ll find  a “Build Your Own Q” section is on the menu for guests who prefer to create their own meals.  You’ll have the option to select any BBQ meat and style, such as: Wraps, quesadillas, soft tacos and an assortment of toppings.

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With 18 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Chris began his journey as a busboy when he commuted from his hometown in Bedford, NY to a restaurant formerly known as “The Beacon” in Stamford, CT. Although Chris was tasked with bussing tables, he put in extra time when possible by preparing food with the line chefs where he learned about food service, quality, and cleanliness. It was this experience that allowed Chris to realize his passion for food and the service industry.

In 2003 Chris graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY where he learned how to prepare a variety of national and international cuisines from our country’s most qualified instructors. Following the CIA, Chris attended Florida International University (FIU) to understand the business side of the restaurant industry, including management, finance, and accounting, and he ultimately earned his BA in Hotel & Restaurant Management in 2005.

Having an innate passion for food and a drive to succeed, he began self-educating himself by reading books, speaking with other professionals in the industry, purchasing ingredients and getting creative in his own kitchen, and trying new recipes for the enjoyment of family and friends.  Eventually, Chris’ focus shifted towards BBQ:

 

“I’ve always loved BBQ – ever since I was a kid. And I’ve always appreciated the freedom I have in the kitchen – to be creative and express myself through food. And as I sharpened my skills in the kitchen, I tried all kinds of recipes and combinations, and BBQ really gave me the opportunity to do it. I was able to build on the traditional southern-styles by leveraging the skills I learned over the years and by putting my own creative spin on it.”

“Food is my passion, let me share my passion with you at Northern Smoke.”