Chef Tina speaks at JobTrain Awards

Awards were given to companies whose hiring practices and programs encourage the success of people who are talented and skilled but who may not have the benefit of extensive education or have barriers to employment.

Smoke Berkeley hires workers who’ve fallen on hard times

Michael Rachal wipes down a tray at Smoke Berkeley on Wednesday.
SFGate, Friday, February 17, 2017. By Trisha Thadani.

Tears sit on the edge of Tina Ferguson-Riffe’s eyes as she talks about the people her modest barbecue restaurant in west Berkeley has saved.

There’s April Jones, a struggling single mother. And Michael Rachal, a father of five who couldn’t find a job after spending 10 months in jail… Read More

Check, Please! Bay Area review



KQED Food – Check, Please! Bay Area
, April 10, 2014.

Smoke Berkeley and Chef Tina Riffe were featured on Check, Please! a Bay Area TV show (Season 9, episode 2). Watch the video!

Entrepreneur Spotlight

by A New America. Spring 2012 Newsletter.

Tina grew up on Texas barbecue. She’s always had a love for food, which naturally led her to a life as a chef. Last fall, she opened Smoke Berkeley, a Texas-California-France inspired BBQ restaurant.

Tina states, “AnewAmerica helped me to align my business, put my business plan together, and learn about the logistics of tracking revenue and inventory.” Read more

The East Bay’s BBQ Hall of Fame

A Long Simmering Barbecue Tradition Comes to a Boil

Oakland Magazine, September/October 2012, by Kathryn Jessup.

Tina Ferguson-Riffe, the chef-owner of one of Berkeley’s newest barbecue joints, may have studied cooking at the California Culinary Academy and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but her first inspiration was the pie made by her Aunt Audye.

With her aunt’s tutelage, Ferguson-Riffe would go on to win a blue ribbon for the Best Apple Pie at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas and a blue ribbon for the Best Chocolate Pecan Pie at the Blanco County Fair and Rodeo in Johnson City… Read More

Road Trip

Local-Favorite Barbecue Restaurantes Across America

Published in Gourmet Live 07/08/12

Look no further than Smoke Berkeley in California to satisfy a craving for true Texas-style barbecue.

The Bay Area eatery’s menu is filled with an eclectic assortment of smoke-infused dishes, from smoked beef brisket to tea-smoked salmon, and the pulled pork is dripping with flavor and doused in a tangy, spicy vinegar-based barbecue sauce… Read More

Ten Desserts for the Budget-Conscious

Chocolate Pecan Pie from Smoke Berkeley

East Bay Express, March 28, 2012. By Luke Tsai.

There aren’t a ton of dessert options at Smoke Berkeley, the Texas-style barbecue joint that opened a few months ago on San Pablo Avenue.

But Chef Tina Ferguson-Riffe won’t hesitate to tell you about the blue ribbons her pies have won at Texas state fairs, and once you taste her chocolate pecan pie ($3.50 a slice) you’ll understand why… Read More

Bay Area’s barbecue boom

New spots put stamp on regional favorites

San Francisco Chronicle, May 27, 2012. By Janny Hu.

West Coast Twist: Smoke Berkeley chef-owner Tina Ferguson-Riffe grew up in Texas, where her father, an avid hunter, would bag wild game and smoke it in their backyard pit.

These days, Ferguson-Riffe combines those lessons with a West Coast sensibility, offering brisket and pulled pork alongside tea-smoked salmon with cilantro sauce and zucchini pancakes… Read More

GMO Labeling: Do We Have a Right to Know?

Edible East Bay, May 8, 2012. By Kristina Sepetys.

Genetic engineering promises food crops that can resist drought, insects, and disease; crops that can produce more bountiful yields at lower costs while helping to address hunger across the planet.

But as with many new technologies, there are unknowns and questions. Could genetically altered food organisms pose a threat to human health and the environment? Many argue yes, they could. Some people think… Read More

Opportunity Fund Helps Tina

opportunity2

Born and raised in Texas, Chef Tina Ferguson-Riffe tapped a unique source of start-up funding to get Smoke Berkeley, her new BBQ restaurant, off the ground. “I got a call out of the blue. It turned out my… Read More

Smoke Berkeley (188014), San Francisco Bay Area Reservations
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