I still recall the inappropriate question Jason Strotheide of Charlotte asked me during a rousing round of "Ask the Answer Man" radio game several years ago, when he was 15 years old. He remains unafraid of asking bold questions, though some can prove more fruitful than others, such as asking yourself, "What if...?"

Strotheide grew up in Charlotte and is the Executive Chef of Brody Hall at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He's also a talented musician, who's played in a variety of Lansing area bands, including 'The Hoopties'.

When asked how The Whistle Pig came to be, he said:

"I got the oil drum off Craigslist for nothing. Had some time off during a Christmas break so I cobbled together a cooker. The intention was to just do that, maybe go out and make a few bucks with the family and see what comes of it. From there it just kind of spun into what it is now. Never really knew exactly what it was going to be, just kind of go with the flow."

After wild success at selling his food at a couple of events and taking a chance on an idea, Strotheide rented a long-empty gas station near the railroad tracks on Cochran Road in Charlotte, then started selling his smoked delights at "The Whistle Pig".

People love it.

They're only open on Fridays and Saturdays from Spring to late Fall, but that's enough time to crank out an ever-changing menu of eats that have culled a passionate following. The entire Strotheide family makes the magic happen, too, including Jason's wife Melissa, their two children and Jason's mom.

The Lansing State Journal gave The Whistle Pig some well-deserved love here.

Congrats to the Strotheide family, and all those who are bold enough to take a chance!