I met Martin Goffin, one half of the Red Gum BBQ team, ten years ago. At that time he had not yet found his calling as a BBQ Pit Master. Instead, he was a youth engagement officer working hard in St Kilda and the surrounding areas. It seems his quest to make the community a better place continues. Martin and Melissa opened the restaurant (shed? Space? Beer/BBQ hall?) earlier this year after making the tree change to the Mornington Peninsula a few years ago and I daresay that they will never look back. They are the perfect combination of hard working and talented – this duo have made their dreams come true.
Everything about the place has a story. The long wooden dining tables? Made of recycled wood sourced from Rosebud. The recipes? The couple’s own developed over their time working in America. The kitchen? Custom designed and built and the place that magic happens. Melissa is the brains behind the styling and I basically want her to come and re-style my house. They rented the huge space after seeing it only from the outside and transformed it with the passion and zeal which would probably not be present had they done this before. That’s right, this is their very first restaurant venture.
Okay. Let’s talk food. It’s amazing. Simple ordering process of choosing a meat and then a side dish. We sat down with Martin and sampled the ribs, brisket, chicken, sausage, macaroni ball, mac and cheese, BBQ’d beans and potato salad. I didn’t even get a photo of it because I was too excited and just ate it instead. Here is the aftermath.
And the beer. So, I’ll set the scene. I am married to a Welshman. The village he grew up in had a schoolhouse, a river, a church and a pub. You can guess which one he spent the most time in. He is not easily impressed when it comes to beer in Australia but last night…..
He was impressed. I had a small glass of the Little Red and it was delicious.
By the time we had finished dinner, our babysitter had called to say that the baby was crying and would only stop when my neighbour (who she had gone to for assistance) held her and let her watch television. So, we decided to call it a night and head home. But the reminder of being a parent quickly brought me back to earth and made me take this shot of the gorgeous play area.
As we drove home I reflected on how our thirties are the time to make big life dreams happen. All that experience. All the knowledge. By thirty, you are closer to knowing what kind of stamp you want to leave on the world. Since we moved down this way we have fallen in love with the area. The wineries, the slower pace, the trees, the space and the people. Red Gum BBQ seems to encompass all of that and more. I also reflected on the all consuming passion I saw in Martin as a Pit Master that I had only witnessed as a flicker in him when he was working for council. The way he watched Insta Husband peruse the menu. “Have the chicken” he told us “It will change your life.”
Well, it certainly has his.
Red Gum BBQ is in Redhill. It has high chairs and nappy changing facilities. It’s an indoor/outdoor venue and is wheel chair accessible. And amazing.
FYI: This post contains an affiliate link to Bendon. If I ever make a dollar I will spend it on coffee.