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How Wildwoods BBQ Brought a Taste of Australia to the Jersey Shore

Pitmasters Joel Romano and David Gill bring flavors and cooking techniques from their home country to classic American barbecue dishes

At Wildwoods BBQ in Wildwood, New Jersey, co-owners and chefs Joel Romano and David Gill bring flavors and cooking techniques from their Australian background to classic American barbecue on the Shore.

“We’re challenged all the time by ways to incorporate an Australian atmosphere,” says Gill. “And as cheesy as it sounds, the ‘shrimp on the barbie’ is something that is known worldwide. Thank you, Paul Hogan, for that. So we decided we’re going to have some shrimp sausage.”

To make the shrimp sausage, the chefs puree raw shrimp, add sesame oil, tamari, garlic and ginger, and blend it together with an egg. Once they get the texture they want, they add cilantro. At this point, it’s basically the base for shrimp toast, a popular snack in Australia, according to Romano. To give its barbecue twist, they put the puree in lamb casing and tie it. “It’s kind of gimmicky, but we’re really able to put a lot of flavor into this snag,” says Romano. They set it aside and start working on another sausage with an Australian twist.

“We call this the Aussie beef sausage, even though we’re using beef from Iowa. It’s really just the size of the sausage, for one,” says Gill, “and lamb casing as opposed to pork casing,” which is more commonly used for sausage in Australia. They mix the beef with charred onion and parsley, and grind it up. Then, a mixture of granulated onion, cumin, herbs de Provence, sugar, milk powder and water is added. “There’s a lot going on here, a lot of different ingredients, it seems like an awful lot but it really balances itself out.”

Both sausages go in the smoker for 45 minutes, and then they’re finished on the grill to give the outside extra snap and char.

See the many other ways Gill and Romano put an Aussie spin on classic American barbeque in the full video above.