We had the good fortune of connecting with James Dudley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi James, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always enjoyed cooking. You would think that my family would be inspiration (in a sense they are because they always ask me to cook lol) but it’s a craft that I picked up naturally. Before I moved to Houston in August of 2019, I was cooking in my home town of Missouri. In a way, you could say that my business started without me realizing that I was in business. My journey began at the home football games at University of Missouri. During tailgating, people would prep their own foods and set up to tailgate. It’s always like a family type of vibe so people would sample other people’s food. Over a period of time, I started to receive requests for plates. I became so popular that I invested in a grill and a smoker at that time. My transition to becoming a business happened in 2016 at this event called the “Black and White Ball”. It’s an special event that happens every 3 years. The turnout was unbelievable! From then on, I was hooked with all the moving around, serving people, meeting people and seeing the satisfaction of them enjoying the meal I prepared gave me a rush. That was a feeling I didn’t want to get rid of. In so many ways you can say, the process behind my business was a unforeseen blessing.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The way my business started is how I would like to continue to grow it. My cooking comes from a loving authentic place. I enjoy seeing the good spirits my cooking put my customers in. It’s like serving food with a purpose. Within the next two years, I will have a store front to maximize the amount of people that I’m able to cater to. Another one of my goals is to be able to give second chances just like The Second Chance program. I’ve witness how hard it is to see someone do all they can to get back on their feet and it seems like there’s no help. Sometimes, all people need is to know that someone is there cheering for them and the right changes could be made to change your life around. I want my restaurant to be like me extending a part my home town to Houston through my cooking. At this point in my growth, the number one feed back that I get is that my smoking of meats is “fall off the bone”. It’s more then just finger licking, my customers have options when it comes to the smoked turkey leg. They can order it bone in or bone out. Almost like wings on a larger scale. It literally takes one or two taps to make the meat from the turkey leg fall directly into the plate. In a matter of seconds, it’s like magic, the bone is gone!!! Besides constantly perfecting my craft, the seasoning that I use for my meats are custom. It’s just a taste of Missouri that keeps the customers happy. As by business grow, I also had to learn how to associate myself with the right people. You want to always have good people around you that share the same morals as you. Some will stay for the long hall and others will go but in all, you must stay true to yourself.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The places that I would take my best friend would be laid back places. For example Lost and Found have great hookahs and interesting drinks. The Foundation Room is a whole R & B vibe if you enjoy listening to artist like Jagged Edge, Aalyiah and Silk. Other places like Urban Social is another place I would go to for a good night out. A place that I would eat out at would be the Taste Bar for brunch. Nothing beats their with a little splash of live band action.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Rashad Cleveland owner and CEO of Royal Guardian Cane Corso in Willis, Tx. Tiffany owner and CEO of Showtime Bar and Lounge

Website: https://www.showmesmokebbq.com/

Instagram: show.mesmokebbq

Facebook: Show me Smoke BBQ

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.