Will Myska, chef/owner, Ore Nell’s Barbecue in Kittery, Maine, is as masterful a pitmaster as he is at whipping up homemade banana pudding. This Houston native is bringing down-home Texas hospitality to the Maine/NH border. Ore Nell’s Barbecue is already earning regional acclaim for its authentic Texas bbq, with such honors as “Hottest Restaurants in Maine”/Eater Maine and “Best New Restaurants 2018”/NH Magazine, and more.
Inspired by his grandmother Ore Nell, Myska smokes top quality meats, fish and vegetables low and slow over oak wood using traditional Central Texas cooking methods. Growing up outside of Houston, Myska learned how to cook in his grandmother’s kitchen. “My grandmother would always prepare amazing meals with gumbo, tamale casserole, fresh cucumber and tomato salads and buttermilk pies. Everyone would help – from peeling the potatoes to washing the produce. And then of course sitting down together at the table to dig in. Everything she cooked was full of love and flavor – that’s what I am trying to do here at Ore Nell’s.”
At 19 years old Myska moved from Texas to New England and enrolled in the Atlantic Culinary Academy at McIntosh College. While in school he worked with Chef Evan Hennessey at The Dunaway Restaurant, Portsmouth, NH -highly regarded for its farm to table cooking set in historic Strawbery Banke. Myska was on the opening team for Chef Hennessey’s Stages at One Washington, cooking at the James Beard House and earning #1 Hottest New Restaurant by NH Magazine. Next he worked at Portsmouth’s popular Ristorante Massimo and then at the spicy and sassy Vida Cantina where he learned the art of butchery and how to run a kitchen under the stewardship of Chef/Owner David Vargas. “Chef Dave taught me how to manage not only food but the people you work with” says Myska. The partnership flourished and together they opened Ore Nell’s Barbecue with restaurateur Jay McSharry.
Ore Nell’s Barbecue is Myska’s first restaurant, and he is digging deep into his Texas grandmother’s inspiration and recipe box. “My dear Ore Nell is in her early 90’s living in Houston and I just want to make her proud” shares Myska. “I think she would like this place.”
Located in Kittery, Maine, just across the border from Portsmouth, NH via Memorial Bridge, Ore Nell’s is open 7 days a week, serving lunch and dinner Thursday-Sunday, and dinner only Monday-Wednesday.