From Tobago to Brooklyn with Jase Franklyn of Jase’s BBQ

By day, Jase Franklyn is a beloved Track and Field Coach at a local high school. The rest of the time he’s a barbecue craftsman, combining Caribbean flavors with American barbecue technique for Jase BBQ. His jerk spiced, smoked ribs with Dominican rice and beans, sweet plantains and cornbread took home the award for Best Rib Dinner at 2021’s Rib King, and he’ll be making a repeat appearance at Pig Island in September to follow up his 2020 win as a “Hidden Gem” for his jerk pork and signature barbecue pig tails. We talked with Jase about how he got into barbecue and more.

Photo by Battman

Food Karma: How did you get into barbecue?
Jase Franklyn: My initiation into the world of barbecuing was actually through my mother. She was the cook in our family.

FK: Is it something you grew up with?
JF: Yes, I learnt to barbecue through assisting my mother at a tender age. We would often barbecue at home for celebrations and holidays, as well as for our extended family at annual Christmas and New Year gatherings.

FK: I know this isn’t your day job, do you have any other professional cooking experience?
JF: Yes, correct. By day, my current profession is actually a Track and Field Coach at a high school in Brooklyn, New York. Apart from my experience with barbecue, I do not posses any other professional cooking experience.

Photo by Sean Ludwig,

FK: How long have you been operating Jase’s BBQ?
JF: Jase’s BBQ has been in operation since 2017.

FK: How did you decide it was time to give it a go?
JF: I moved to the USA to pursue my studies, however, on weekends and special occasions such as 4th of July, birthday and backyard parties, I would always be found “on the grill.” At these events, I was frequently complimented by all who indulged in my barbecue dishes. One day, I decided to start selling barbecue, which led to overwhelming patronization and subsequently, Jase’s BBQ was launched.

FK: What have you learned since you started selling your barbecue?
JF: I have learnt that not everyone has an affinity for a particular style of barbecue. However, it does not mean that it requires modification to suit every, single tastebud. Create your signature, embrace your style and persevere regardless.

Photo by Stacie Joy

FK: How would you describe your style of barbecue?
JF: My style is traditional, infused with Caribbean flavors. I draw on influences from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the USA.

FK: What else should people know about you?
JF: I am from Trinidad and Tobago, specifically Tobago. I possess a Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems. I am a sports fanatic – mostly Track and Field, Soccer and F1 Racing. Prior to Jase’s BBQ, I owned, managed and operated an electronic repair store that specialized in fixing cellphones, tablets, computers and other electronics.

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