Meet Sam Evans & Shauna Guinn

We’ve all caught a glimpse of ‘Sam and Shauna’s Big Cook-Out’ on the BBC and thought ‘ooo, I bet that tastes good’. Well, you can find out for yourself in the deer park this June when you get your tastebuds around the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen girls’ deep south deliciousness.
“Everything we do has to have heart and soul and meaning,” say the girls, who opened Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in South Wales six years ago. “The roots of barbecue cooking are deep. It’s not just a nice pulled-pork shoulder… every time you cook low and slow you are honouring those who have passed the recipes and techniques down. We have huge respect for barbecue, not least as it has given us a business.” That business was born when Sam and Shauna left jobs in London behind and took off on a road trip around the southern states of America. The start of an incredible journey, ending up in Barry, it was on that adventure that their dreams and ideas began to catch fire. “We went to uncover the secrets of American BBQ and meet the unofficial patron saint of Hang Fire, Dolly Parton,” smiles Shauna. “We love food, people and music, so we thought if we threw ourselves at the deep south something would come back.”
When they arrived home, they’d brought back more than they bargained for: an appetite. First, they put a smoker in the backyard of a backstreet pub and began cooking low ‘n’ slow in Cardiff – before they knew it, people were travelling from miles around to sample what Sam had learned in America: “We wanted to recreate the experience of going to a BBQ joint in the States, so we had slides from our road trip on loop and B.B. King on the jukebox.”
It’s this attention to detail and authentic acknowledgement that led the Hang Fire girls out of the pub garden and into the pages and screens of the mainstream press. A BBC Food & Farming Awards nomination cane first, followed by their own cookbook! “We pitched a book about busting some of the myths of US barbecue, which can be quite secretive,” they say. “Every recipe in the book is linked to a person, a place, something that inspired us,” reveals Sam. “A book that might inspire others to quit 9 to 5 jobs and follow their dreams.”

Inspiration is what the Hang Fire girls are all about. They opened the doors to their first restaurant in 2015 and haven’t looked back, with plaudits, award and ‘Sam and Shauna’s Big Cookout’ on the BBC all falling into place over the next couple of fun-filled years of hard work. “The TV show is a celebration of Welsh communities and local produce… there must be an emotion and a connection to everything we do,” they say. Connect with the girls yourself in the deer park this summer.
Watch Sam & Shauna’s Big Cook Out