Bringing together BBQ babes and dapper bourbon chappers, one of Birmingham's most sought after new pop-up nights has sent the city into an edible frenzy. But who's the man behind the tasty rib orientated plan? We interviewed Rib Nights cultivator and new edible trendsetter, Ahmed Kage.
Tell us a little more about yourself and Rib Nights. I have a background in music producing and DJ’ing but moved over to the IT Security Industry where I worked for quite a few years. I have a lot of friends in the hospitality trade and ever since I can remember I have always had a keen interest/involvement in food and cocktails. Last August I left IT Security and decided to take my chances within the food & beverage Industry. Rib Nights is a competition where 2 world renowned BBQ teams battle it out to serve customers the best Ribs. Customers then blind judge the winner. We add to that some great Music, specially designed Cocktails, Magician and recently live art illustrators courtesy of Nineteen Degrees. It's an all encompassing entertainment event where we try and hit every one of your senses.
Why do you think Birmingham needed a night like Rib Nights? I spent a few months travelling the UK and specifically spending a lot of time in Birmingham looking at what was missing from the food & beverage scene. I came up with quite a few ideas and also developed suggestions that were given to me from friends etc. One of those was a BBQ Ribs pop-up which was suggested by Lap Fai-Lee who’s now at Peel & Stone and is also part of Backyard Brummies BBQ Team. I developed this into what is now Rib Nights. The people of Birmingham have taken to it really well and we have now embarked on a UK tour.
So of course, we’ve got to ask, why ribs? All meat eaters like Ribs. The ones that don’t, can generally appreciate when they have ribs that have been cooked properly, as they should be. I just wanted to bring people a type of food that when done well, tastes awesome! We also like the variety of people that come to our events, from all backgrounds and ages. We also have a high number of females that love our events.
You picked one of the Jewellery Quarter’s newest bars to host the event. What is it that The Church Inn brings to the Rib Nights table? I’ve known Carl Finn from The Church for absolute years and love what he’s done there. We had a chat about Rib Nights and kicked it off in December and they’ve been our hosts ever since. It works well as we need a venue that can work with us, handle doing Cocktails and gives us the Audio/Visual capability that we need at our events.
Will Rib Nights be doing any branded bibs in the future? We hear that dinner can get a little messy. Our motto is - Everyone likes to get filthy, not everyone likes to admit it! We are about to launch a massive rebranding for Rib Nights. This will follow on with merchandise as our customers have been asking for T-Shirts, bibs at the event etc. So watch this space.
You’re always to be seen at Rib Nights. Do you think it’s important for an event to have a so prominent a host? Something I got from visiting Fine Dining establishments and Michelin starred restaurants throughout the years is the role of the Maitre d’hotel (Maitre d’). We have this at Rib Nights. Its my role to make sure every single one of the customers that attends leaves happy and that the event runs smoothly. There are quite a few aspects to our events so it needs someone to manage all of these and bring it together. A huge part of this is also analysing our post event surveys and responding to any issues or suggestions. This helps me better understand our customers.
Rib Nights also has plans for Leicester. Any sneak peaks as to where these BBQ babes might take to next? Our Leicester event was unbelievable and we had a huge waiting list after the tickets sold out so we are going to turn Leicester into a regular event. We are also visiting Worcester, Sheffield, Leeds, London and other places for the UK Tour. At the recent Round 4 I announced Rib Nights Paris and New York.
Do you have any more unique foodie events lined up for Birmingham in the future? Well we have the Rib Nights Final coming up which will be a one day festival with some seriously good food and drink and a stage for live music which will be replaced by DJs for the evening and throughout the night. As I also mentioned, I have a lot of ideas and we are about to release a few new brands. This includes bringing some Fine Dining and Supperclub chefs from around the UK for some special events and pop-ups and something in the Cocktail arena will happen soon. All details will be released in due course on our Twitter, Facebook and on our website.
Keep an eye out for Rib Nights 5 as details are set to be released in the next few coming weeks!