Chef Charlie Torgerson has had a long-standing appetite for life in the kitchen. It all started in his childhood, where his mom and grandma cheered him on as he cooked and experimented for family mealtime. His familial fondness for food has deep roots. “I have meat in my blood. My grandfather was a butcher in Morris, MN, at Spike’s Fresh Meats.”
Charlie trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he cut his teeth at the famed Oyster Bar at the historic Grand Central Station in Manhattan. After stints as a pastry chef and chef at 3-star restaurants, he opened his first BBQ joint in Alaska. There he perfected his unique style of smoked and spiced rubbed meats.
His roots and desire to raise a family called him back to Minnesota, where he worked for Famous Dave’s for 19 1/2 years. A major partner in the kitchen for recipe development and procedures with Dave since their inception, he was named Executive Chef as well as Sr. Director of Food & Beverage. He implemented the back-of-the-house systems and tools, developed the menu, continued Research and Development for much of Dave's product line, and worked on kitchen design, all while opening and training the teams for 35 Famous Dave's restaurants. He also owned and operated two Famous Dave’s locations.
Charlie took over the popular Famous Dave’s operation at the Minnesota State Fair in 2001, transforming it into RC’s BBQ, where he smokes everything on a whole-log smoker. Some of the menu items include smoked brisket and pork, signature Texas smoked sausage and innovative pork dishes.
A Celebrated Chef for the National Pork Board, Charlie has won numerous awards for his smoky creations. He’s become known as The Meat Guy – if you want cutthroat culinary creations, chef Charlie can source, smoke, and cook it all to perfection. And he’ll happily pass his vast knowledge on to you to ensure prosperous restaurant operations.
The expansion of Charlie T's had been a topic of conversation for many years. Charlie partnered with long time friends, who are also locals to hamel, to start something new. A restaurant, a food truck? No one knew. Until it all fell into place within a span of a few months. Thus creating Charlie T's Smokehouse, trailer style.
We hope you enjoy Charlie T's Smokehouse as much as Charlie loves cooking his famous food for you!