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Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories

Jun 23, 2017

Ted Cochrane (@WheatandWater) of Wheat & Water 




Ole Hickory Pits:

Weber Grills:

Del Mar BBQ Championship:

Article on Wheat & Water:

Bird Rock's Wheat & Water - The New Neighborhood Hangout:

Eater San Diego Article:

- Ted Cochrane, Owner of Wheat & Water located in La Jolla, San Diego

- Fathers Day at Cali Comfort BBQ was the busiest day in history (see below picture from the end of the night)

- Ted went to La Jolla High School in San Diego

- Worked at El Pescador Fish Market & Restaurant in La Jolla:

- Fern from Fern's BBQ (episode #001) worked on Fathers Day Sunday (see below)

- "Work hard and you can live a good life, you can travel the world" 

- Expanding too fast, trying to do too many things can ruin a business very easily

- Ted wanted to find some good pizza in La Jolla but felt like he never could, so he was inspired to start his own pizza restaurant

- Fun Fact: Gray hairs come in faster when you own a business

- Ted envisioned Wheat & Water to be Wood-fired, roasted, charred pizza in a rustic setting

- So much business turnover in La Jolla because rent prices are so high

- Ted's biz partner, Doug Ritz - awesome biz partner

- Hardest part about opening up was raising the money for the restaurant, He tried every method in the books

- PROVE YOUR CONCEPT when trying to raise money

- Pick a small location or find a restaurant that’s not doing well and see if there's any opportunity…

- If you make good, quality food, people will come!

- "LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION" - a wrong/old theory


- Beaumonts Eatery in La Jolla:

- Birdrock Coffee Roasters:

- Tacos El Gordo:

- Getting the restaurant open wasn’t easy for WW, it took 2.5 years to open the restaurant

- You will hear the question, “when’s your restaurant going to be open?” all the time from friends and family

- Raising money is so difficult, W&W was able to raise $1mil to open up in La Jolla

- Wheat & Water has 30 taps, 6 for wines, 1 with cold brew coffee and the rest are beer


- Wheat & Water likes to do beer takeovers

- Takeovers with Green Flash, Alpine, Societe, and Mike Hess

- Don’t try and do "too much" too fast when just opening up, take time to see what works

- Having a good restaurant atmosphere/vibe is very important, just having good food isn't enough these days

- W&W is focused on building a lifestyle brand online 

- W&W is on UberEats and GrubHub, is that a smart idea? Too much?

- Services like GrubHub, etc are the exact inverse of catering

- Have systems in place to keep your restaurant profitable

- Restaurant business = perishable products / a very hard biz to keep open

- RSI systems

- Wheat & Water has great wood-fired pizzas using white oak Double-split wood

- California firewood

- New pizza called “La Pizza” chili verde, pork shoulder "MEXICO ON A PIZZA"

- Tacos del Yaqui in Rosarito

- W&W newest chef 'Chef Cristian Fiol' - has worked at Cucina Urbana & Galaxy Taco

- Fun Fact: Valley Farm Market is looking to get into La Jolla for a second location

- Live feed available of the farm where VFM gets their meat to show “how the meat was raised”

- "Always be ready to educate the consumer on your product"

- W&W used Guerilla Marketing in the beginnings 

- You have to do what you can do within your budget when starting up

- VFM Instagram video with fresh halibut

- We all struggle sometimes - shit goes sideways out of nowhere

Get in Touch

Derek Marso -

Shawn Walchef -

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