KATY MAGAZINE | July 2019 By Natalie Cook Clark
Most Katy residents have heard of Daddy Duncan's BBQ. Luckier residents have actually tasted Daddy Duncan's BBQ. His flame-painted food truck can be found at pop-up locations and special events, while his BBQ is featured on several Katy restaurants' menus. Besides high-quality ingredients and cooking talents, there's more to know about Chef Randy Duncan, the man in the driver's seat.
From Food Truck to Front of the House
Even without a brick and mortar storefront, Chef Duncan has become a fixture on the Katy foodie scene. Duncan said he grew up around good BBQ and picked up some of his skills from watching his Grandpa Duncan smoke 300-pound hogs. Today, the young chef impresses his customers with his BBQ, especially his display of an entire slow-smoked hog. "Not many guys in Texas doing whole hogs," Duncan says.
Slow cooking the entire hog
Daddy Duncan's BBQ offers full-service catering, on-site food truck or trailer smokers, and local deliveries.
"We supply 10 local Katy restaurants with our BBQ," says Duncan. "We have a food truck that moves to different locations around Katy doing pop-ups. We post location updates each Monday on our Facebook page. Our fixed location should be ready this fall."
Hurricane Harvey Changed Duncan's Life
Duncan was working as a chef at the Omni Hotel when it flooded during Hurricane Harvey.
"I went from cooking, to cleaning in a hazmat suit," says Duncan. "So I wanted to just focus on my BBQ."
In the aftermath of Harvey, Duncan took to social media to see where people needed food and he set out.
"I was literally standing in water cooking ribs," says Duncan.
From there, people took notice of his BBQ. He was invited to cook for group after group until they bought the Daddy Duncan's BBQ trailer seen around town.
In 2018, Duncan's BBQ left their brand on the fourth-annual Houston BBQ Throwdown at St. Arnold's Brewery. The team earned the overall Grand Champion title, placing first among the judges, and also took home the People’s Choice award.
Delivering Craft BBQ
"What I love most about cooking is the reward of seeing happy people that enjoy the food we cook," says Duncan. "We are constantly working on scratch recipes that will impress any palate. We are Craft BBQ."
Daddy Duncan's BBQ catering menu features meat options like 14-hour smoked brisket, pulled pork and BBQ chicken as well as delicious sides - BBQ baked beans and sweet potato casserole and many more.
"We want to bring something special to Katy, something that’s not being done" says Duncan. "You guys have a lot of love for us, and we will continue to be everything you look for in barbecue."
Randy and Sylvia Duncan
Man Behind the Smoker
Duncan's wife Sylvia is well known by Daddy Duncan's BBQ fans. She worked as a nurse for 17 years but now focuses on the family business. The Duncans have two children, Midori (12) and Clark (4), and have been Katy residents for 15 years.
"I’ve been cooking since I was a kid with my mom and grandparents. It’s a good feeling remembering those times of learning in the kitchen with them. Now I teach my own kids," says Duncan.
Duncan graduated with highest honors from Houston Community College. He received an associate degree in the Culinary Arts, and a bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the Conrad N. Hilton College, and The University of Houston. He also earned Phi Theta Kappa and Dean’s List recognitions.