Here is a loving tribute, almost in scrapbook form, of the authors' lifelong relationship with and passion for the ultimate American cuisine, barbecue. No, I don't mean grilling or merely cooking outdoors, but rather the true meaning of barbecue -- that slow cooked bit of carnivorous heaven that earns America it's rightful place in the map of the world's great culinary contributors.
Author Mike Mills is the only person to win three Grand World Champion titles at the Memphis in May International Barbecue Festival. He is also barbecue guru and partner at Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke Restaurant in New York City and owner of six notable barbecue joints, two in Southern Illinois and four in Las Vegas. Along with his daughter Amy, a journalist and publicist, he's created a culinary road map to America's great barbecue joints and competitions, along with the characters who make them tick.
Presented in a folk art format, the authors show photos of and stories about the best barbecue that these United States have to offer (foodies take note and take this book along on any upcoming road trips). For those less inclined to take to the road, they also conveniently include a cornucopia of mouth-watering recipes that represent some of the best authentic American comfort food - from appetizers, salads and side dishes to desserts, along with some incredible barbecue recipes. All the U.S.'s classical styles along with some creative new techniques and secrets you probably would have never considered are featured to make up this comprehensive ode to barbecue. You could get a doctorate in barbecue cooking if you just studied the pages of this book!
True barbecue is a uniquely American culinary style, as I recently tried to explain to a young talented Australian chef working on a French barge cruise ship in Burgundy. To an Australian, along with much of the world and a good portion of US citizens as well, a barbecue refers to the grilling of any kind of meat outdoors. But true American barbecue is a different animal - slow cooked meat that is so tender is falls off the bone and, in the words of a now defunct South Central Los Angeles barbecue restaurant, "is the kind of meat you need no teeth to eat."
Sometimes the meat comes bathed in "barbecue sauce" sometimes not. Even these sauces are distinct, depending on which area of the country's barbecue you favor. No matter, all the styles are well represented in these pages. For the best of the best, along with photos, tall tales, recipes, legends and the occasional outright lie, get this book. It is a must for ANY true barbecue aficionado and also makes a wonderful gift.
See the Related Recipes section below for lots of free sample recipes from this book from some of the best BBQ masters in the USA.