Master griller, food truck owner shares love with Brookhaven
Published 12:26 pm Sunday, March 5, 2023
BROOKHAVEN — A bright smile and the warm fragrance of barbecue smoked ribs greets anyone who steps up to the Tip’s Triple Master Grill Food Truck. Tiffany Byrd owns the business on the corner of Industrial Park Road and US51 close to where The Dart landed.
She said it is her first time owning a business and it was a wedding gift from her husband and her husband’s uncle. A native of Magnolia, she has lived 20 years in Brookhaven with stints in Austin, Texas and New Orleans.
Her grandmother Lou Ella ““Ma El” Dawson enjoyed cooking and passed on the passion to Byrd. She started cooking when she was 11-years-old.
“She got me cooking from scratch. I remember the first thing I learned to cook was cabbage greens,” Byrd said. “I have a passion for cooking. I like to see people’s expressions when they eat my food. It gives me a thrill and plus I really like how it relieves stress. When I cook, all my worries fade away.”
Byrd graduated from South Pike in 2000 and started classes online in 2014 with Le Cordon Bleu where she earned an associates degree in hospitality and restaurant management. For six months, she went to Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin and got a job working at Omni resorts in Austin before taking a job at Red Room in New Orleans grilling steaks.
She worked there until COVID hit and then she moved back to Brookhaven. Byrd said she went back to school to learn more about pastry before getting married and opening the food truck in the past year.
Her culinary philosophy is to tie taste and presentation together. She wants her food to look how it tastes because sometimes food will look good but falls short of flavor expectations.
The two years she spent in New Orleans were trying at times. After working in the restaurant she would go on to her next job as a security guard supervisor for event staff at the SuperDome and Smoothie King Center.
Her father was also sick with throat cancer and she was taking care of him. It was tiresome but when COVID hit, she moved him back to Brookhaven where he lived for another year. The food truck pays tribute to her dad.
“Tip relates to me a bit because a lot of people call me Tiff. Triple relates to my father. He drove 18 wheelers and on the CB they would call him Double Deuce so I’m triple,” Byrd said. “Owning my own restaurant is not much different in terms of cooking. I make my own menu and create it the way I think fits right with the customers. I’m also here all day. Every day you are trying to make sure you have everything you need for a restaurant. It is like you are married to your business and your partner.”
In one month, she will celebrate her one year wedding anniversary on April 23 and 14 years of being with her husband Tyson Byrd. They met thanks to Tyson’s cousin.
Tiffany worked with her at a store when he came in one day and his cousin introduced them. Tyson asked for her number. Tiffany said she thought she wasn’t quite ready for a relationship at the time but gave her number anyway.
“Two days later he called me and we went out on a date a week later and hit it off,” Tiffany said. “What I love about him is he always puts me first. He is caring. Everytime we go to the store and he sees an elderly person who needs help he stops to help them. We like watching football together and eating out. He is a 49ers fan and I’m a Saints fan. I consider myself blessed to have him.”
Her food truck takes up a lot of her waking hours. In two or three years she might have free time if she can get the business where she wants it. Ultimately, Tiffany said she wants to open a restaurant in Brookhaven.
“I want to bring something different here. I want to have a restaurant where the family can go to and enjoy their time,” Byrd said. “Maybe in five to 10 years I can open something for the kids to do. They don’t have anything to really do. I want to give them somewhere to go and I really want to bring something different to Brookhaven.”