I grew up in Albany, Western Australia, the eldest (and smallest at 6 feet 4 inches) of three sons to a hard-working, German – Polish single mum, in a time when being a single mum was more about “struggle” rather than “finding yourself” and sinking margaritas while the kids are in day care.  As the product of hard work and sauerkraut and a distinct lack of flamboyant culinary ability, it is a fucking miracle that I ended up with such an intense passion for everything food has to offer. Miracle or not, I love it.  I live it, I breathe it, and I embody it.  I’ve been called obsessed, neurotic, ridiculous, insane and obscene (all by my wife) with the intensity that I feel for food, but it completely pays off.

Despite my isolated upbringing and sauerkraut sodden childhood, I now lead a team of renegade bastard cooks into battle every day at my restaurant in Lismore, New South Wales. From my vantage point in the kitchen, I order, wheedle, cajole and instruct my team, administering light floggings as required. A well-olive oiled machine, we weave our magic to regularly feed 300+ people a day on my Southern Fried chicken and smokehouse BBQ menu. As is the want of the kitchen, at the end of the night, we all gather after service to decompress; and I sit back and think to myself “This is the shit.”

I am fortunate enough to be in the best profession in the world. Sure, the long hours and 50 C (120 F) degree kitchen heat in the middle of summer mean that I may have a severe electrolyte deficiency and a standing prescription for chaff cream every December – February.  And my inundation with people using the vernacular of the sailor means that I will never be able to work in primary schools, but I still reckon it really is the best shit ever.  That’s what this thing is all about.  It’s about how my love for food and particularly BBQ and fried chicken, has taken over my life.  How I gambled everything I had on starting a restaurant to run it how I wanted to run it.  Without owners second-guessing my menu and trying to run my ship (I should add also, without their stacks of cash, a definite downside!). It’s about how if you believe in something and work your arse off then it will all work out.  And if it doesn’t, then I know how to make a fucking good meal that I can cry into.


Gray “Big Red” Stockdale


Creator of this 2nd rate food blog.


Founding member of Pit Crew BBQ, competition BBQ team.



Co-owner (with my wife, Jennee) and chef / pit master at the Stockpot Kitchen – Smokehouse BBQ and Fried Chicken in Lismore, NSW.

@thestockpotkitchen http://www.stockpotkitchen.com.au


Co-owner (with my wife, Jennee) and chef at Big Red Brand.



Author of “Red, Hot & Smokin’”, published by New Holland Publishers



75 responses to “About”

  1. Being a cook from the north coast, and growing up with some of the best damn fruit and veg in the world in your back yard it’s possible at times to take it for granted and forget how blessed we are.
    I remember walking home after school in the afternoons, grazing off mulberries from the trees, apricots and passion fruits as frequent as fingerlimes, and stalls set up selling watermelons and whatever other tasty shit was growning around your way.

    Now I live in the city.
    I still get to eat good produce, but it means a trip to the shops to pick up overpriced fruit and veg that was picked two weeks ago.

    I found the markets out at flemington last week and noticed that everything was from north coast nsw. Herbs and salad leaves from billinudgel, blueberries bananas and strawberries from woolgoolga, witlof and fingerlimes and zucchini flowers from uki, mangos from bellingen and tomatoes from Brunswick heads etc.. etc..

    The point of the story folks…..

    ..a fist in the air for those who choose to represent Australian farming, nsw produce, mid north coast karma and brilliant food.

    Its beautiful stuff..

    Catfish and co..

  2. ILUVFOOD <33333

  3. hi, I love the site & I’m asking if you have a great potato salad recipe – love your site.

    cheers jenny k

  4. heyo!

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! I hope it inspires you to keep blogging. If not, just know that I appreciate reading your thoughts on food and life 🙂

    If you’d like to read and repost the award, here’s the link: http://chieats.com/2012/05/29/updates-travels-and-awards-and-links-and-things/


  5. Possibly the greatest name for a food blog out there.

  6. ciao! luvFAB blog.

    1. Thank you very much. We do try…

  7. Hello there, I think your blog is very interesting and refreshing, hence I nominate you for Inspiring Blog award. I believe participation is an optional and in case if you are interested ples check http://rabbitcancook.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/inspiring-blog-award-2/

  8. where’s me marinara foodlad?

    1. it’s on the way… quality can not be rushed…

      1. hungry here, hasta the pasta …. you do yours here first, then I do mine, or maybe yours with a coupla subtle changes. No rules and no mannners ok?

      2. Especially no rules and no manners! Love it!!

  9. great, so let’s eat ..

  10. ciao! luvFAB blog.

  11. Congratulations! I think foodisthebestshitever is rad, so I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. All the details can be found on my original post: http://kateginnivan.com/2013/02/26/it-is-award-season-after-all/

      1. so much love… thank you all

  12. Great blog. Pleased to have found you. Food, booze, humour, food, opinion, booze and food. What’s not to like? Good work, fella!

    1. sido presentada en el Festival de Sitges, donde lae ntérprite se ha hecho con el galardón a la mejor actriz. La música y los silencios sustituyen a los diálogos, que son solamente un tercio de los que hay

  13. I nominated your blog for a few awards. Check it out here: http://thehappyhealthfreak.com/2013/04/21/an-award-pour-moi/

    You don’t have to do anything if you choose, but sit back and bask in the glory, but if you like, you can write a post that links back to mine: http://www.thehappyhealthfreak.com and post the ‘badges’ — either in a post or in your sidebar. And nominate a few blogs you like too!

    I really enjoy your blog and wanted to let you know! 🙂

  14. I’m nominating you guys for the WordPress Family Award because I think it’s appropriate and relevant and also, because your blog is pretty awesome. 🙂
    Check out the details: http://kateginnivan.com/2013/05/17/acknowledging-family/

  15. we are still mates, aren’t we foody?

      1. good, I got a recipe coming on

  16. Done over there, shit on a stick and bubble and squeak – plus a little violence

      1. petebowes.com

        the home of rough food

    1. Warum ich dabei sein muss? Weil ich nach deinem Haphe-Sceruppdüsln-Tizp dafür schon $22 rausgehauen habe Naja, und der Finder ist auch nicht soooo dolle….

  17. Is it bad that I clicked on ‘follow’ just because your blog name is f*ing awesome?! Hahaa… I definitely agree with both the ‘sentiment in bold’ and everything else that you’ve shared about food on your blog. Food lovers unite. Can’t wait to actually read some of your foodie sh*t brother 😉

    1. Not bad at all. pretty damn happy about that actually! Rock on sister!!!

  18. Loving Lismore Avatar
    Loving Lismore

    Hi FITBSE (has a rhyme to it don’t you think?!) great to meet you today, very inspiring, and thanks for the blog like/follow as well! Groovy 🙂

  19. culinaria non sequitur Avatar
    culinaria non sequitur

    Great attitude! Keep up the good stuff!

    1. Why thank you! I certainly will try!

  20. Challenge in the writing big fella. In-room dining. Up today, are you up for it?

    1. Love a good challenge… I fear I may be a little late though as I haven’t checked this blog thing for a few days…

  21. Cool site … looking forward to reading more !! Stay hungry !!

  22. Tellin’ it like it is…like we all think but never have the guts to write! 🙂 Great blog you have here. Thanks for stopping in and “like / follow”. Now I’m going to go check out some of your recipes. 🙂 Good day!

  23. You’re an important part of my WordPress family! You make me laugh and keep it real. Please accept the WordPress Family Award as A token of my thanks!

    1. Why thank you my friend. As are you to mine. It’s always an honour to get a blogland award! Cheers!

  24. You have comments turned off on the posts. That opening shot of the salad looks like a vegetable explosion caught mid way. Fantastic.

    1. Cheers my good man… comments turned off? How does that work? I will investigate further…

    2. I think it’s on now… cheers for the heads up!

  25. Best blog name ever. I love the swearing, the photos are hot, the food looks incredible… WHERE HAS THIS BLOG BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

    1. Why thank you. I can see we’re going to get along just fine 🙂

  26. Hi!

    I found your great website and we would love to feature it!! I work with http://www.TheBesty.com which helps people all over the world find the best restaurants & food. Simply email me back the names and cities of 5-10 restaurants locally or anywhere in the world – that you think are the BEST, and we’ll feature your picks & link to your website, so our users can find you! We work with websites & blogs in over 50 countries, it would be great to work with yours as well!

    A few of our celebrity users include: Anthony Bourdain, Guy Fieri, and Rachael Ray!

    Featured Blogs: http://www.thebesty.com/search/blogs

    Also, we would love to feature an article about your site, so if you would like to do a write-up about how your website got started, with any fun tidbits about yourself, send that my way and I’ll have our content team post it for you, FB it & tweet it! – any length works! 🙂
    I look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully we can feature your site under our featured blogs!

    Website & Blog Partners

  27. Hi I absolutely love your blog and really glad to have discovered it. I would like to nominate you to take part in a Writing Process Blog Tour. I and I’m sure your readers would love to learn more about you. Please let me know if you’re interested and if you can provide your contact so I can email you the details. Cheers 😊

    1. Sounds like something I need to do! Email is grayandjen@iinet.net.au Cheers

  28. Great blog , lots of inspiring ideas!!!!!

    1. Why thank you my friend. Smiley face

  29. I just realized you’re a guy! I guess I just assumed most food bloggers are female. Sorry! I honestly wish that everyone would say if they’re male or female, and also state where they live. But maybe I’m just overly curious!!!

    1. I am defo a guy! A guy from Australia. Smiley face

  30. Congratulations! You have been nominated for the Versatile blogger award. Please collect it at

    1. Thank you very much my friend. Truly appreciated

  31. Since I get tons of entertainment value reading your posts as well as drooling over many recipes, I have nominated you for the lovely blog award. Now, I am a very novice blogger still trying to figure things out. So I am not sure if I did this properly or if it is «politically correct» to nominate someone (I read somewhere that it was like a chain letter) but what the hell, I did it anyways :). And truth be told, I was flattered to get a nomination myself… So here is the link:
    Love your blog!!!

  32. I just discovered your Blog and became a fan 🙂 I love the international recipes!! I wish i knew people in person like you who i could meet and cook with 🙂 Best wishes and what a lovely blog..Michael

    1. Thanks heaps Michael. It’s always nice to meet a new friend through this interwebby thing 🙂

  33. Thank you for following my blog!

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