Meet the Smokecraft Team
Since Andrew was a kid, he has always associated great food with happy social gatherings. His love of BBQ started while learning how to grill lunch for his family while on summer vacations, and later spawned into his career. He began working in restaurants the summer before college, and he began managing restaurants in the Washington D.C. area soon after graduation. Over the past 18 years, Andrew has worked for some of the biggest restaurant companies in the country, including The Cheesecake Factory, Hard Rock Café, Blackfinn AmeriPub, and Richard Sandoval Restaurants. Then, he had the unique opportunity to help rebuild a classic American BBQ concept, which reignited his passion for barbecue. Soon after, he began to compete in professional barbecue competitions and quickly saw success. Today, Andrew leads his team in the never-ending pursuit of creating the best barbecue possible, pushing the boundaries of what barbecue is and can be.
William Burke is a man in love with his deep Southern roots, from preserving and canning, to low and slow BBQ. A self-trained chef, he has spent time in kitchens from the South to the Midwest and has developed a unique perspective on barbecue and the desire to bring aspects of smoke and ash into his cuisine. Will has developed cured and smoked menus with Bull & Bird Steakhouse, Revival Social Dinner, and The Smith Restaurant in Burton, Ohio. With Smokecraft Modern Barbecue, Will wants to help evolve what barbecue is, what it is not and how the concept of low and slow can transform proteins, fruits, and vegetables into a culinary experience beyond just filling a belly. Will is a devoted father and loving husband.
Justin Edwards is a Washington, DC native who has been on a culinary journey for 19 years and counting. His passion for cooking started as a young child cooking for his mother and watching Rachael Ray’s “30 Minute Meals.” As he grew older, he noticed his creativity and passion growing stronger. He has a unique culinary background, as his mother is from North Carolina and his father from Jamaica, giving him strong Caribbean Southern culinary roots. Justin has experience working with Del Friscos, Bonefish Grill, Epic Smokehouse and more. Due to his Southern influence, BBQ has always been a passion of his and he is enthused to be a part of the Smokecraft team.
Harrison’s first kitchen experience came from a BBQ Smokehouse in Charleston, South Carolina when he was 18 years old. It was only supposed to be a part-time job while he went to school, but Harrison quickly became addicted to the method and the passion that went into making great BBQ. He enrolled at Charleston Culinary Institute and spent the next six years honing his skills in fine dining restaurants and hotels around Charleston, learning from talented chefs and receiving a degree in culinary arts. In 2016, he decided to follow his passion and love for Southern BBQ which lead him to high-end catering for small events and weddings. He moved to Alexandria in 2019 and jumped at the chance to work with the Smokecraft team. When Harrison is not in the kitchen, you can find him spending time with his wife Nicole, on a hiking trail in the DMV or obnoxiously watching a Boston sports team.
Born in the Bronx, Lauren ventured to Washington, D.C. in 2010 to attend nursing school at the Catholic University of America, where she met Derek Brown and became fascinated by his love for the restaurant industry. LP became an employee of Drink Co., where she established a thorough understanding of service, cocktails, spirits and wine. As Lead Bartender of Eat The Rich, Southern Efficiency, and Mockingbird Hill she assisted in the success of the establishments by providing staff members with guidance through education. Prior to Covid-19, Lauren was employed at the world-renowned bar, Silver Lyan at the Riggs DC Hotel under the management of the Mr. Lyan beverage company. She is currently the co-founder and owner of Focus On Health, a company focused on health and wellness for food and beverage employees, along with Alex Jump.
Originally from Johnson City, Tennessee, DeAnna received her Integrated Marketing Communications degree from East Tennessee State University while working in a fine dining establishment. Shortly after graduation, DeAnna began working for local government in Marketing, Sales and Communications before moving to the Arlington area in 2020. She enjoys anything outdoors, good music and spending time with family and friends. Due to her Southern roots, and love for a sense of community, she is excited to be a part of an award-winning BBQ team at Smokecraft Modern Barbecue.
Justin D. Goldsmith
As a fixture in the hospitality industry of Northern Virginia for over 15 years, Justin has made it evident that those who possess character and deliver results by hard work will always rise to the top. With his primary focus in training and staff development, Justin’s bubbly demeanor, bright mind and drive to deliver exceptional service in all he does has effectively benefited every company he has worked for. Community has always played a large role in the execution of Justin’s service style and he is excited to be a part of this amazing Smokecraft team! A Fauquier County native, he now resides in Reston with his partner Brandon and their Chihuahua Jackson.
Rocky began working in the service industry at a young age and has worked his way up to management over the last 16 years. He has a strong background in the fast-paced late-night scene in the D.C. area, with a deep passion for Tequila and Mezcals, and is looking forward to expanding that experience into the Clarendon area as the Beverage Manager at Smokecraft Modern Barbecue. Rocky is a proud father of 3 boys and married to his amazing wife, Angela.