Meet the Cambodian Cowboy, Chad Phuong, of Battambong BBQ
We had the honor of meeting Chad, aka The Cambodian Cowboy, when he agreed to be a part of our annual fundraiser. We contacted him and heard a bit of his story and immediately knew he was a gem. Through the phone he exuded kindness. He has been a vendor now for the past two years at our Long Beach Homebrew Fest and we are so grateful for his energy and his passion of cooking. We love that he fuses his Cambodian flavors with BBQ. If you have not tried his food, get on it! We are grateful he is now a part of our community.
WLLB: What neighborhood in Long Beach do you live in?
CP: Since coming as a refugee, I lived in so many different parts of this great city. Currently, I live with my family in Sunrise.
WLLB: Where is your business located?
CP: We pop-up around town and cater. Currently you can find us on Thursdays (3pm-7pm) at the Bixby Knolls Farmer’s Market, Fridays (12pm-9pm) at Ten Mile Brewing and Sunday (12pm-6pm) at Trademark Brewing. (Follow him on instagram to see his schedule and mouth watering food).
WLLB: How did you get started?
CP: I got into smoking BBQ out of being laid off during Covid. My wife had just given birth to our youngest son in 2020, got laid off, the Pandemic, and I wanted to do something that I really love—which was smoking BBQ and being a Chef.
WLLB: Why do you love what you do?
CP: I have control of what I want to do to make a living, being empowered to be a small business owner, and making delicious smoked bbq for everyone to enjoy.
WLLB: Why do you love your small business?
CP: I love the flexibility of being a small business owner. Being able to use my creativity to make my brand better and a chance to shine by being out here constantly smoking BBQ week in and week out. The more you’re out here, the better you will be doing what you love and sharpening your skill sets!!
WLLB: Describe a memorable moment when your business positively impacted the local community.
CP: It was WILD! After being featured on by Brian Addison on Eater LA we went viral! I had my 5 minutes of fame on CBS Morning News nationwide—which made me a household name as The Cambodian Cowboy!! With the notoriety of being in the spotlight, it helps shine a bigger spotlight on the amazing food that comes out of Long Beach. Being able to represent such a rich and diverse area of our great country. Also, to put Cambodian Americans on the map with more positivity with our food. Most often than not—we are overshadowed by Vietnamese food and Thai food.
Lastly, being able to represent the hardworking people in Long Beach that are start ups and being small business owners. Being able to converse and speaking engagements to start and sustain a business in the local community.