“What’s a billiken?” is probably the most asked question at Billiken’s Barbecue at Lake Anna. A billiken is a good luck charm and revered in some parts of the world as the god of “things that should be.”
As far as Greg and Sharon Shalawylo’s barbecue joint goes, it’s the way barbecue should be.
The name carries another meaning that’s a little closer to Greg’s heart. Two of his’s older brothers, Bill and Ken Shalawylo died over eight years ago. The business name pays homage to their memory.
Following in his family’s footsteps, the pit master has been honing his craft since he was a young boy.
“Our whole family cooked,” Greg said. “Everyone barbecued.”
The hobby became serious business after the Detroit native was involved in a head-on collision in 2007 that left him laid-up for some time. That’s when Greg decided a career change was in his future.
Greg invested his time in perfecting his smoke-flavored craft. From seasonings to cooking times and sauces, Greg’s pursuit of barbecue greatness seems to have paid off.
Three years ago Billiken’s was born as a catering company and the Shalawylo’s began competing in barbecue events to help promote the company.
Focusing on his food, Greg perfected his recipes, smoking times and designed a smoker with his son.
With the success the catering business, Greg and Sharon needed a larger kitchen to work from than the one in their home.
To read the entire story, see the April 2 edition of The Central Virginian.