Chef Shane Spencer’s culinary journey began with classical training, culminating in graduating as the top student from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2002. He then embarked on a career at some of San Diego, California’s most esteemed restaurants, dedicating 16 years to refining his skills as an Executive Chef. However, his culinary path changed when he ventured into catering and offered a more intimate dining experience as a private chef. Chef Shane allows his creations to speak for themselves, reflecting his genuine passion for every dish he prepares.
In a serendipitous twist, Chef Shane crossed paths with Chef Sean Readman in the early 2000s. At the same time, both were involved in opening a restaurant called The Farm in Redlands, California, and later, coincidentally, The State in the exact location. Their partnership led to a great friendship and a decision to combine their extensive culinary backgrounds across various southern California restaurants. In 2018, they officially joined forces.
Initially operating under Spencer Readman, they later felt it resembled a law firm or Wall Street company more than their culinary venture. In 2021, they rebranded themselves as Wild Javelina Private Chef & Catering Services, marking the beginning of their successful journey throughout California. Despite their flourishing catering business, Chef Shane remains cooking for high-profile clients in Orange County and San Diego. Meanwhile, Chef Sean holds the position of Executive Chef at La Volata in Redlands, California.
Chef Shane’s unexpected foray into beef jerky sales began in early 2020 when the world faced lockdowns. What initially started as a lighthearted hobby, born out of his 20 years of culinary experience, soon transformed into a passion as he discovered the overwhelming appreciation from his gym’s patrons. Three years later, he continues to serve his private clients and cater events, all while managing a thriving beef jerky startup known as Wild Javelina. This Wild Javelina brand is distributed under the same name as Wild Javelina, and it is located in Redlands, California.
The next review on Wild Javelina will focus on a 2.5 ounce/71 gram bag of their White Oak Grilled & Fermented Peach, Calabrian Chili flavored beef brisket jerky. This jerky was graciously submitted for review by co-founder Chef Shane Spencer.
Ingredients: Peaches, Beef Brisket, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled White Vinegar, Anchovies, Garlic, Molasses, Onions, Salt, Sugar, Water, Chili Pepper Extract, Cloves, Natural Flavorings, Tamarind Extract), Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Cane Sugar*, Brown Sugar*, Liquid Amino Acids, Onions*, Tangerines*, Chili Pepper, Apple Cider, Ginger*, Garlic*, Chili Flakes, Black Pepper*, Fennel, Fish Sauce, Bay Leaf*, Tarragon, Oregano. *=Organic Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat, Anchovy
This brisket cut of beef is ethically raised, meaning it is guaranteed to be free of growth hormones and additional antibiotics. The cattle are guaranteed to have some free range access to roam about and graze on grass the way nature intended. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Very Good (9/10) rating.
There are some healthy ingredients added, such as peaches, organic onions, organic tangerines, organic ginger, organic garlic, organic black pepper, tarragon, and organic bay leaf. The heat is achieved from chili peppers and chili flakes, which are healthy if eaten in moderation and flush toxins out of your system.
The sugar level is high at 6 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 5 grams of sugar or less for a sweet based flavor, as we have here. The salt level is on the low side at 210mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
WILD JAVELINA – WHITE OAK GRILLED & FERMENTED PEACH, CALABRIAN CHILI BEEF BRISKET JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I believe I am smelling fruit of some kind, maybe lemon, and soy sauce. The pieces are medium in size and are sliced rather thin. The jerky is moist, leaving some oily residue on your fingers.
When I bite into the jerky I am met with some exciting flavors, not all of which I’m sure I’ll be able to capture. I taste salt, sweet, garlic, pepper, natural beef, lemon?, soy sauce, and there is a faint zing or tang to this jerky. Some flavors seem familiar, but I’ll be d*mned if I can name them. Is there cilantro? Vinegar? Grapefruit?
I know some of the ingredients mentioned in the flavor of the jerky, but I don’t necessarily taste them.
I am duly impressed with this flavor, though it is unique and quite tasty.
I can’t definitively taste all of the ingredients listed in the title of the jerky, so for that reason, I am going to deduct a point, but otherwise, a delectable new flavor of jerky. A 9/10 in my humble opinion. Gentlemen?
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
I am somewhat divided and confused with this flavor profile. I love peaches and tarragon; they are among my favorite fruits and herbs. I find a lot is going on with this flavor profile. I understand the funkiness of these flavors is likely the goal, and I’ve done my best to understand the aim with this jerky.
There is a pleasant kick, the fish sauce is perhaps too accentuated for my liking, and the presence of the anise flavor of tarragon and fennel here feels a bit strange to me. The texture and aroma are fine. I am used to experiencing these flavors with more delicate and sweeter ingredients like fish and seafood.
Although I am a bit puzzled by it, it does not feel like a failure. I am glad I tried this flavor; it was a pleasant experience. I still enjoyed this flavor, and I’d rate it an 8/10 Taste Rating.
Here is what Mark had to say about this White Oak Grilled & Fermented Peach, Calabrian Chili beef brisket jerky flavor from Wild Javelina: “Thanks Stéphane and Paul for the candid taste reviews. I too was a bit confused with this flavor. While I do not pick up on a peach flavor, a fruity flavor is certainly present. Not that I have ever tried fermented peaches before, let alone grilled peaches. A light kick is present where I am with Paul in that it is more of a zing. The salt, black pepper, garlic, soy, and other foreign spices are light to mild levels.”
“While there is a complex taste profile, something seems off. It is hard to pinpoint exactly where I do not necessarily agree with Stéphane that there is too much fish sauce, or in other words, too many anchovies. What I am struggling with is what audience this flavor is geared toward. Regardless, there is no doubt this is an interesting flavor, and I too am grateful to have tried this Chef’s creation. With Stéphane at an 8, Paul and me at a 9 rating, a Very Good (9/10) taste rating will be awarded.”
This resealable plastic bag has a label affixed on the front and nothing on the back. The Wild Javelina logo features a wild javelina, which resembles a pig from the peccary family. This bag is vacuum sealed, the best way to keep jerky fresh tasting.
A slogan on this bag could be “Chef Crafted Brisket Beef Jerky”. There are no facts printed on this bag. The full flavor description is “White Oak Grilled & Fermented Peach With Calabrian Chili & Anise” and “Spicy”.
Some missing bag categories are a best before date, a USDA stamp, the jerky weight stated in grams, a barcode, and no blurb printed about Wild Javelina or this flavor. Instagram handles are provided. To the credit of Wild Javelina, a phone number is provided for customer inquiries.
Order their jerky online: www.chefshanespencer.com