Owning barbecue

At Pork Summit 2013, chefs demonstrate the concept of "indigenous barbecue," with tasty results.

You really can’t do a series of presentations on pork without including one on barbecue. So it was at Pork Summit 2013, the event held last weekend for a couple dozen chefs and a handful of trade press editors at The Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, Calif.

The challenge with barbecue, of course, is deciding on the focus on the presentation. Barbecue is an intensely personal style of food preparation, with regionality and cultural influences both impacting what form barbecue takes. Ingeniously, the National Pork Board, which sponsored the event, didn’t try to hone in on one style. Instead, it challenged four chefs to define barbecue based on the unique attributes of four regions: Mid-Atlantic, Southern, Northern California and Southeast Asia.

The session was called Indigneous Barbecue, and the four selected chefs were asked to make use of local ingredients and, in some cases, cooking equipment from a particular time period to help them “create your own interpretation of barbecue for your region and sense of place,” in the words of NPB’s Stephen Gerike. At the end of the day, we all got to sample their efforts at a special dinner.

The attendees also got a little bit of the history of barbecue from CIA Instructor Tucker Bunch, who explained that the cooking style—basically a method of cooking animals slowly over an open fire—dates back to 1647. The idea itself, of course, is much older than that.

The framework of barbecue is this: a smoke flavoring, a vinegar-based sauce, the use of sweetener to varying degrees and the use of spices to varying degrees. It started on the Eastern Seaboard and picked up various cultural and ingredient influences as settlers moved west.

“Local resources certainly beget the cuisine,” Bunch said.

Keywords: 
menu development

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
oversized portions

Here are the trends FSD's Chefs’ Council members wish would go away.

Kale Gluten-free Sriracha Chipotle Microgreens on everything Sous vide cooking Aversion to bread Healthy desserts Vegan diets Lies about local sourcing/organic food Fast food Cupcakes Pumpkin spice Fat-free or low-fat Meatless Mondays Bread cones Rigid child nutrition guidelines Bacon on everything Cajun Doughnuts with over-the-top toppings Oversized portions Fried foods Pinterest
Ideas and Innovation
Frose

Frose, sushi burgers and single-item restaurants are hot topics as of late, according to Forbes, which recently released a list of seven buzzwords in the foodservice world. Here’s what’s trending, in no particular order.

Blended burgers Frozecco and frose Goth food Hemp Single-item restaurants Sushi burger Upcycling
Industry News & Opinion
MeuDirections

One of my favorite cartoons shows a commander whose soldiers are in the midst of fighting a war with bows and arrows. Without turning around, he tells a man who has come up behind him, “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to talk to you.” The man was a rifle salesman.

In today’s time-pressed world, we are all too busy. So, it can be difficult to find time to reach out to others for ideas, solutions and best practices. But as that cartoon illustrates, it’s critical to being successful. The sharing of knowledge is a pillar of FoodService Director . Through our magazine and events, we have been...

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

FSD Resources