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Longtime cook Chris Shook opens Fire and Knives with brisket, ribs and more with sauces made from scratch

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Chris Shook opens Fire and Knives, a barbecue food cart, in Colton at 20777 S. Highway 211.

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Fire and Knives offers a variety of menu items, all made from scratch.Fire and Knives, a barbecue food truck, opened its window for the first time Thursday, Jan. 7.

Located in Colton at 20777 S. Highway 211 right next to the Colton Coffee Company, the large barbecue grill is now lit, and food is prepared. The food cart is owned and run by longtime barbecue chef Chris Shook of Sandy.

The menu at Fire and Knives includes brisket, ribs, pulled pork, barbecued chicken, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and Hawaiian coleslaw. Shook said he uses his own secret recipes for the Fire and Knives barbecue sauce and meat rub.

"I don't use restaurant delivery foods," Shook said. "Everything we serve is made from scratch."

Shook said he began cooking at the age of 6 when his first accomplishment was a boiled egg. He said he was pretty excited about it and, after that, he would sit on a stool beside his mother while she cooked and learned everything he could.

"Of course," he said, "by the time I was in high school I was cooking most of the family meals."

After high school, Shook joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a cook. He was stationed at the Hawaii Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, Hawaii. Following his service, Shook spent time as a chef in restaurants in California.

"When the recession hit and times were hard down there, I moved up to Oregon and started my own cooking and catering business and worked as a barbecue chef at the Moda Center," Shook said.

Shook went out on his own investing in a barbecue food truck and catering events. His cart was last parked in Damascus, but one of his employees, Travers Rogers, is from Colton. His mother, Cheryllann Rogers, had owned the Colton Cook Shack, and that's how the connection happened. The Fire and Knives truck is parked in the same location as the previous cart. Rogers said she is sure the new business will do great.

"We're right by the highway," Shook said of the South Highway 211 site. "It is nice and visible with easy access."

To make the whole thing a little more fun, Shook built his barbecue from scratch. He had been looking for just the right equipment when he happened to be driving by an apple farm and saw a water tank for sale. He said it took him six months (and about 730 curse words) to get it ready for use, but it is and it is primed.

On his first day open in Colton, people were stopping by for menus. One truck driver stopped, got a drink at Colton Coffee and a sandwich from Shook. He was smiling all the way back to his vehicle.

Later that first evening the new barbecue truck got busy, so busy in fact that Shook is now going to be open every night until 7 p.m. (or until the last customer is served), instead of his projected 6 p.m. He said when football games and events are back at the high school they will stay open to serve customers.

"The first night open and we were super busy," Shook said. "We are ramping up for a very busy weekend, so we will be ready."

Shook has three high school students, including Travers Rogers, hired and helping. The truck opens at 11 a.m. They soon will begin to serve daily specials, so check out the Fire and Knives Facebook page to keep updated.

"I want to do something good for Colton," Shook said, "and will have the very best food that can be made."

The menu is available on the Fire and Knives Facebook page and you can place your order ahead of time by calling 503-381-8345, You also can contact Shook about catering weddings and events.

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