About Soulfire Barbeque
Statement by Wyeth Lynch, Owner
What is SoulFire? For me it is that thing that gets me out of bed every morning, not because I have to, but because I want to! For me, the idea of going to a job that includes slow smoked meats and music playing at all time is a no brainer.
People assume that because I started a restaurant that it was always a life long goal of mine. It actually was never a goal of mine; it seemed like not just the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. Barbecue started as a simple hobby and turned into a passion that had me doing things that I could never have imagined, like waking up a 4am in the morning without an alarm clock to start a fire. I started a restaurant so that I could share my passion for barbecue and soul music with a greater audience than just my immediate family and friends. It is very rewarding to work with the staff on perfecting our techniques and processes and seeing that hard work payoff on each plate that goes out the window.
Why barbecue? Not only is barbecue the ultimate American food, it is also a time consuming process that most people do not have the time or equipment to do themselves. It takes us 16 hours to turn large pork shoulders into pulled pork that is tender and smoky. That is 16 hours that most people do not have, but we do.
What is the secret ingredient? Experience. Our dry rub hasn’t changed, the ribs are not different, the smoker and temps have not changed, and yet we are putting out ribs that are head and shoulders above anything we managed in our first year of business. Just because something is good doesn’t mean that it can’t be better, and we are committed to getting better every day. Some people assume that the “soul” in SoulFire stands for soul food. Actually, when deciding upon the name of the restaurant I knew that I wanted to specialize in barbecue and soul music. Since barbecue is made with fire, SoulFire, seemed like a natural fit.
Most barbecue joints have that roadside shack or country western things going on, which is appropriate and fine. I wanted to do something that was both different and still regionally authentic to barbecue. Memphis is home to one of the biggest barbecue competitions in the country as well as some of the best known barbecue joints. Memphis also was a key player in the birth of soul music as it was home to both Sun Records and Stax.
Soul music also is a great music connecting multiple generations. Today’s hip hop wouldn’t be the same if it were not for the heavy sampling of soul music. Starting as early as the Sugar Hill Gangs sampling of Chic’s “song name” for Rappers Delight, up to Kayne West use of Ray Charles, soul music is everywhere in today’s music.