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

The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of a smoothie chain.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

The department noted that it had traced earlier outbreaks of hepatitis A to strawberries imported from Egypt. But it warned that supplies may still be in the freezers of other foodservice operations...

Managing Your Business
business man smash computer

Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

“Stress is very difficult in our world, and work-life balance is very much a...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at an Arkansas high school may have to take creative measures to get a meal, thanks to a school policy that prevents parents from dropping off lunches left at home.

The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

While social media opinions on the school’s rule were mixed, some commenters expressed concern that...

Industry News & Opinion

Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

The vegetarian shaker is made using produce from a nearby organic garden. Sofie Garcia, an employee in...

FSD Resources