Welcome to

Welcome to Red Gum BBQ, the home of the largest American-style BBQ and craft beer joint in Australia, best known for its authentic Southern-style smoked BBQ and passionate commitment to ethical practices (in fact, we are the first, and only, B Corp Certified restaurant in Australia).

Learn How

Red Gum BBQ was born from a fusion of traditional family recipes and a passion for bringing people together who shared a love of low and slow BBQ. It’s also a love story…how else could you explain a girl born in Florida and a boy born in Norfolk England owning an authentic southern-style barbecue restaurant in Australia.

For Melissa, all things southern-style barbecue were a way of life; for Martin, the fire in his belly for low and slow was sparked after tasting it at Melissa’s grandparent’s hometown of Nashville during a trip to the US in 2002.

What started as a flickering flame quickly became an obsession to master the perfect barbecue with Martin resigning from his government job in 2012 and channelling all his energies and passion into becoming a Pitmaster. Martin was on paternity leave and did some catering on the side, towing a Texan import smoker ‘Big Red’ to Mornington Peninsula markets, events and weekend pop-ups. 

What followed was years of “have pit will travel” as Martin finessed his craft, fine-tuned his skills, and tweaked his deliciously good recipes. Most of us go through life never really enjoying our work, but the lucky ones find something that never feels like a ‘job’…it’s an extension of who you are. For Martin, what had started as a dream had become a smokey reality (and he could not be happier). He was born to barbecue.

In order to get ready to open a ‘proper’ restaurant, Martin returned to the States again to do a stint of training at Southern Soul BBQ in St Simons Island, South Georgia, often voted as the South’s best BBQ restaurant. It takes dedication to earn those Pitmaster-seared stripes.

Fast forward to 2016 and it was time to create a permanent home for Red Gum BBQ where friends and family could pull up a bench and enjoy sharing plates of perfectly cooked meats, sides and slaws. The hunt was on to find the perfect address, and find it they did – a truck mechanic’s workshed classically tucked away behind a servo (just like any good Southern-USA barbeque joint).

Fast forward to today and Red Gum BBQ is everything they imagined it would be – a place for family and friends to come together to enjoy good food and conversation;somewhere to enjoy authentic southern-style barbecue and hospitality; a family business you know cares about its people, its community, and the land it sits upon.

our mission/values

We believe in kindness and authenticity for our food, and for ourselves. We are passionate about what we do and how we do it and believe that where our food comes from matters; that when we connect with our farmers and put care into our community and our planet, everyone wins. BBQ has a long history of bringing people together and we cherish these moments we get to connect to each other.

Great food comes from Farmers who Care

BBQ Tastes Better when Shared with Family & Friends.

Be Kind. Be True. Be Awesome.




It might sound corny (did anyone say corn bread?) but at Red Gum BBQ, we really are one big family. Together, we are the perfect blend of optimism, enthusiasm, reliability, generosity, effervescence, with a dash of fire and sauce to keep it interesting.

Martin Goffin

Pitmaster and co-owner

Born in Norfolk England, it wasn’t until 2002 while visiting Melissa on a trip to the US that Martin felt a fire in his belly and a desire to learn all things Southern-style barbecue. Fast forward to 2012 when Martin decided it was time to quit his government gig as a youth projects officer, and channel his passion into learning everything there is to know about the craft of being a Pitmaster.

Melissa Goffin

Managing Director and co-owner

Miami-born and bred, Melissa is a former high school teacher whose love of wood-smoked American barbecue was instilled by her family’s long-standing food heritage. After a decade-long teaching career (with some detours along the way), Melissa quit her job in 2016 and went all in to ensure Red Gum BBQ continues to be the ethically-based ‘good’ business she and Martin envisioned.

Katrina Barrionuevo

Director of Sales & Marketing

Meet our Director of Sales and Marketing, Katrina Barrionuevo! With 20+ years of experience in the Tourism and Hospitality industry, she brings expertise and a flair for sales and marketing with a passion for regional destinations (and American BBQ). Having worked across multiple sectors, from ski resorts in the USA to hotel chains like Marriott and Accor, her passion for driving sales, partnerships, and unforgettable events is unmatched.

Jeffrey Sickert

Director of finance 

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Melayni Wyatt

Front of House Leader

Melayni began her Red Gum story in 2018 as a server before moving through the leadership ranks to Front of House Leader. In 2022, she was awarded Restaurant and Catering Association’s Manager/Supervisor of the Year for Victoria and Tasmania. Melayni loves the new and exciting daily challenges at Red Gum BBQ and being able to continually learn and grow. A connoisseur of all things cheesy, she is aptly named after a dairy town on the Sunshine Coast.

Nic L’Eveille

Executive Chef

Born and raised in Mauritius, my culinary journey began in my early teens out of necessity and hunger. With my grandmother’s recipes, I reconstructed meals and developed a passion for food. After studying in Australia, I worked at prestigious venues, covered major events, and even catered a royal wedding in Qatar. I’ve grown as a chef, leader, and am now pursuing food science studies. You can find me channelling my inner culinary superhero by day, but by night, I transform into the “Marathon Masterchef,” conquering marathons and obstacle courses with the same determination I bring to the kitchen. Who said chefs can’t be action heroes too?

learn about

To Southerners, barbecue is more than food; it’s a way of life.

It’s the food you grew up on, the food you share with friends over a beer on a warm night, the food your family heatedly debate over who cooks it best. Just ask Melissa’s mum to give you her opinion on the necessary elements of coleslaw. In moving to Australia, we were thrilled to find Melburnians, and in turn, Peninsula folk, feel just as passionately about their food. The marrying of these two homes was the concept for Red Gum. Using all of the traditional methods of cooking Southern BBQ at low heat over many hours, Pitmaster Martin uses the woods native to our area to delicately flavour the meat. 

It is Martin’s passion for the food, for creating an authentic and high quality product that has translated into amazing BBQ. His relentless work ethic and desire for perfection mean he is constantly learning, improving and expanding the recipes and processes in a never-ending search for an even more impressive experience for our Red Gum diners. Many hours of working with farmers and butchers source the best cuts, finding and trailing woods for which provide the best flavour, endless hours and trials of new sauces in order to come up with the final beloved 3, developing mayonnaise for rolls and slaws, the perfect buffalo wing sauce, the list of love and time going into his craft is never-ending. Smoke has become a constant in our lives. And nobody is more tired and more fulfilled than Pitmaster Martin. He is living his dream and looking eagerly into a bright and smokey future

Driving the business is a desire to be kind and good. The vision of being ethically minded, generous and quality focused is at the heart of all we do. Red Gum BBQ has a commitment to exclusively using free range and bred free range meats and using recyclable materials throughout the business. We want our customers to not only love our food but the experience of dining with us. We know how high our expectations are of great service and this is what we want to be. And ultimately, great food doesn’t cut corners. It takes time and devotion and attention to detail to make anything great…and BBQ is no different. If you don’t taste the care that has gone into every aspect of your meal – we want to know about it!  Read our story here

history of red gum bbq

They say every journey begins with the first step…so let’s retrace how Red Gum BBQ came to be.


first taste

In 2002, Owner Martin had his first taste of Southern BBQ while visiting Melissa at her home in Florida.


the road to happiness

Martin decided his road to happiness was lined with BBQ and he wanted to leave his job in local government to become a Pitmaster. Over the next few years Martin travelled to markets & festivals, catered events and smoked at pop ups around Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.


The birth

Red Gum BBQ was born in 2013 out of this passion for Southern-style BBQ and desire to share it far and wide.


A Home of our own

In 2016, Martin and Melissa decided it was time to give Red Gum BBQ its own home. Committed to its regional roots, Martin scoured the Mornington Peninsula until he came across the old truck mechanic’s workshed in Red Hill. Martin cut trenches, Melissa painted, friends and neighbours showed up for working bees to help build the restaurant. Melissa left her job as a high school teacher to work in the business and the couple were all in. In January of 2017, the giant roller doors went up and their people came for BBQ.


ethical accreditation

In early 2018, Red Gum BBQ became Australia’s first B Corp Certified restaurant. The ethical accreditation is one Red Gum BBQ is very proud of and is the driving force behind every decision made across the business.



B Corp Re-certification.


interactive map

One thing Americans have in common is they LOVE their barbecue – but each state has its own uniquely different and inimitable style when it comes to cooking their meat low and slow. Simply put, barbecue takes many forms.


FL – Florida

While Florida may not be able to boast a distinct regional style of BBQ, it remains remarkable with Cuban and Latin American influences. Mojo pork, citrus-infused meats, island flavours, and rice and beans as side choices create a culturally diverse and delicious representation of this southern state’s culinary essence. Cue salsa dance music for the full experience.


KY – Kentucky

Famous for a certain brand of fried chicken, Kentucky’s contribution to barbecueis mutton, thanks to immigrants raising sheep for wool in the region. Traditionally cooked whole, over coals up to 18-22 hours, all the while being mopped vinegar sauce (or a dip, as Kentuckians like to call it).


NC – North Carolina

North Carolina, often claimed as BBQ’s birthplace, debates ‘real’ NC BBQ, featuring Lexington and Eastern styles. Both use pork but differ in cuts and sauces. The state’s rich BBQ tradition predates Texas, showcasing pride in pig-centric menus.


MD – Maryland

In Maryland, Baltimore reigns as the BBQ capital, and in Baltimore when you say barbecue, what you really mean is Baltimore pit beef. This dish features crusty yet juicy, almost rare beef, sliced thin and piled high on sandwiches. Distinguished by its horseradish-infused sauce, it’s a local favourite.


VA – Virginia

Virginia’s barbecue scene doesn’t claim a signature style. Most spots offer a mix, borrowing from other regions. From beef, chicken, and pork to pork-only joints, the rubs vary from simple to a Virginia trio of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Hickory smoke is their signature scent, and apple cider vinegar is their holy grail. Virginia’s barbecue is unique, and that’s just fine.


WA – West Virginia

West Virginia boasts a cherished barbecue legacy deeply rooted in family, community, and centuries of tradition. Oak or hickory wood infuses flavour, with pork as the star, complemented by a rich history of mustard-based sauces, making it a uniquely Virginian barbecue tradition spanning nearly four centuries.


GA – Georgia

GEORGIA is a state that is passionate about BBQ. Georgia does not have a discernible style like the Carolinas or Texas but has pinched the best bits from its more famous BBQ neighbours. Pork, especially ribs and shoulders, reigns supreme, drenched in sweet, smoky, homemade sauces. In 1954, the Saturday Evening Post quipped, “Get ten people together, and where the Irish would start a fight, Georgians will start a barbecue.”


SC – South Carolina

South Carolina BBQ is legendary, known for pulled pork, ribs, and beef brisket. It’s whole-hog country, slow-cooking a 57 kg pig for 12+ hours over coals, then smothering it in either tangy sweet mustard-based sauce or fiery vinegar/pepper sauce.


AL – Alabama

In the southeastern US, Alabama’s BBQ scene is inseparable from pork, with Big Bob Gibson’s iconic restaurant leaving an indelible mark. The state’s signature is White Sauce, a tangy mix of mayo, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, cherished by BBQ enthusiasts globally.


MS – Mississippi

Influenced by Memphis as a port town, blends diverse ingredients and molasses from the Mississippi River. This signature style pairs warm spices with a sweet, tomatoey sauce. The Magnolia State boasts 18 award-winning pitmasters, mind you, you’re still likely to find killer barbecue at a gas station or a homegrown, roadside smokehouse or pit than a traditional restaurant.


AR – Arkansas

Arkansas boasts a rich barbecue scene often overshadowed by neighboring regions. Similar to Memphis and Texas, Arkansas BBQ features sweet, thick sauce on ribs and rib tips, accompanied by classic sides like beans and slaw. Locals embrace both pork and beef options with enthusiasm.


the smoke

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check us out

in the media

The Age - True-blue meets Texas BBQ at Red Gum in Red Hill

I used to have an adorable theory about American-style barbecue that went: regional barbecue is specific to its location – and that’s fine. It’s okay if you have to travel to Texas to get proper Texas-style brisket, or North Carolina to get the best pulled pork. Isn’t that part of the joy of travel?

Herald Sun - Southern US-style barbecue delights on offer at Red Gum BBQ, Red Hill

AFTER 12 years of experimenting and another three years of product testing via pop-ups and markets, Red Gum BBQ is now at home in Red Hill. Mt Eliza couple Melissa and Martin Goffin claim their venture is the largest barbecue venue in Australia.

SBS - Red Gum BBQ's recipe to get a business firing up

Red Gum BBQ is a destination restaurant, in the popular suburb of Red Hill on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.Started almost two years ago by couple Martin and Melissa Goffin, it brings a taste of the American South to this thriving community.


NAB - Determination transforms struggling start-up into smoking success

For years Melissa and Martin Goffin had conversations with each other over late-night glasses of wine about their dream of running a restaurant and sharing their love of southern-style American barbecue with diners.

Aus. Traveller - Top Towns for 2022: The town of Sorrento is a foodie paradise

Just a short drive from Melbourne, this coastal gem is a gateway to hedonistic delights. Here, discover why Sorrento came in at no. 38 on your list of Top 50 Aussie Towns.

Postcards - Red Hill - Red Gum BBQ

Fall in love with authentic American barbecue at Red Gum BBQ 🔥 #9Postcards

Herald Sun - Hats Off To Red Gum BBQ

Red Gum BBQ continues to celebrate the arrival of The Age Good Food Hat to their business’s name.As a testament to the quality and excellence of their southern-style menu, Red Gum BBQ continues to celebrate the arrival of The Age Good Food Hat to their business’s name.

Virgin Australia - Top of the Mornington

St Kilda natives, by way of Florida and England, Melissa Goffin and her husband Martin Goffin conceived the idea for Red Gum BBQ in 2013 after nearly a decade of dreaming about meat — dreams that began in 2001 after Martin was introduced to US Southern-style barbecue in Melissa’s home town of Miami. 

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