Herbeque hits the (smoked) spot

QUENTIN ROUX
Q@MISUNTIMES.COM
  • Standing at his portable smoker %28he uses hickory exclusively%29%2C Prince said his only prep secret is in the rub. And%2C like every chef who%27s ever stumbled upon what he deems is a mix of magical proportions%2C he cheerfully refuses to divulge the recipe.

He flipped the bird at his corporate lifestyle in 2001, used that same corporate experience to launch a venture, and simply never looked back.

Today, Herbert Prince runs a successful catering company called Herbeque Bar-B-Que Catering, and is also a regular fixture at each Wednesday Famers Market at Veterans Community Park.

"I used to barbecue for (the corporate) families," Prince said during a break. "That's how it started off. Corporate knowledge and experience makes you understand that you have to have more of a conceptual knowledge of how to run a business. You can't just jump into it, even if you have the resources to do it. It's not necessarily the feasible thing to do."

In Prince's case, it clearly was, however.

The Port St. Lucie-based company he founded specializes in way more than just barbecue fare, but at various markets like that on Marco, it's pretty much smoked pork, chicken and sausage with sides of mac 'n cheese and baked beans.

Standing at his portable smoker (he uses hickory exclusively), Prince said his only prep secret is in the rub. And, like every chef who's ever stumbled upon what he deems is a mix of magical proportions, he cheerfully refuses to divulge the recipe.

At the Marco market, Prince is usually helped by wife Danielle, who works the front of the house, so to speak, and already knows the names of plenty of repeat customers.

The company has a herbeque.com website, which gives one an idea of the broad diversity of the catering options. Think 10 to 3,000 people, and foods like vegetables, rolls, sauce, pasta chicken parmesan, shrimp, cheese and fruit by the mega-trayful, and you get the picture.

Weddings, family reunions, community events, house warmings, showers and even (yes) corporate gigs are the heart of the Herbeque business. And you could say the only birds Herbert Prince flips these days are half-chickens on the grill.