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

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

Industry News & Opinion

James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., recently hosted a weeklong program called Weigh the Waste, which aimed to show students how much food gets wasted in dining halls, The Breeze reports.

Throughout the week, students placed food they were about to throw away on a scale located near the trash bins at one of their dining halls. At the end of the week, the school tallied the waste and saw that 817 pounds of food had been wasted.

School officials hope that the annual program, which it’s hosted since 2015, will remind dining hall patrons to only take as much food as...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

Read the full story via...

FSD Resources