Indiana chef’s smoker stolen 11 days before restaurant opens

Indiana chef’s smoker stolen 11 days before restaurant opens

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) - It’s safe to say barbecue runs in Lafond Wright’s blood.

“I’ve been barbecuing since the early ’80s," Wright explained. "My granddaddy taught me a lot of my skill set.”

He learned the craft from his grandfather and the ingredients to his “Boss Sauce” from his grandmother.

He’s has earned himself quite the nickname in the process.

"AKA The Boss,” Wright said.

This sauce boss was ready to put his homemade flavors to work at the Roadhouse Restaurant and Sports Lounge, located at 1702 Gray Brook Lane in New Albany, Indiana.

His kitchen was set to open inside the bar on Dec. 15, but on Tuesday morning, Wright realized his plan might be up in smoke.

“It’s like an extension of my hands," Wright said about his smoker.

His custom-made, $6,500 dollar smoker was stolen from the parking lot behind the restaurant.

“They cut the padlocks," Wright said. "I had it on a big chain tied to a bulldozer, but they still got it.”

Wednesday morning, he stared at the scene, still in disbelief that the only things left are the loose chains and the crumpled tarp.

“Man I was just...I’m mad as hell for real," he said.

But Wright is trying to stay positive, and keep his labor of love alive by any means necessary.

“I’ve got some smaller grills [that I can use]," Wright said. "And like I said, you can steal my grill but you can’t steal my skills. So, I mean I’ll make it happen. I can smoke on anything.”

Wright says he’s going to give it his best because it’s what New Albany needs.

“I think New Albany deserves a place like this and food like this," he said.

Wright set up a GoFundMe to try and raise money for a new smoker. To view his page or to donate, click here.

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