UK BBQ Mag Summer 2016 - Page 31

Most of us in the UK BBQ scene know you and what you do, but for those new to BBQ please tell us a little more about who you are and what you do.

I started cooking in BBQ Contests in Chicago in 1982 and have been BBQ obsessed ever since. In 2000 it became my business and I’ve done everything from selling BBQ on the side of the road to teaching classes at high end resorts. I’ve written 9 cookbooks, I’m a spokesman for Big Green Egg and Cabo Tequila and in 2014 I was inducted into the BBQ Hall Of Fame.

BBQ in the UK is growing hugely, we'd love to hear your thoughts on BBQ this side of the pond.

It’s been fun to watch. I’ve witnessed the same thing over here over the past 30+ years but because of the internet and all the books that are now available it’s been much faster. I see you embracing the real thing, American BBQ but I expect it to morph into your own version with meats and flavors that are more traditional to you.

You've been involved with Grillstock since the start, and you obviously have a great time every year, what does Grillstock mean to you?

Grillstock starts and ends with Jon Finch and Ben Merrington. They are the visionaries who dreamt this crazy concept up and they very carefully manage it all to match that vision. They are also two really nice guys so everybody likes them and helps out. They treat me very well and I try to return the favor by doing my best to make Grillstock fun for everyone.

You're a great ambassador for Big Green Egg, could you give a few tips for how to get the best out of cooking in a ceramic?

The best thing about the Big Green Egg is the versatility. It really is a great direct grill, a great smoker, and a great oven. If you aren’t doing all three of those things you are not getting the most out of your EGG. That’s why we call it “The Ultimate Cooking Experience”

What's your no. 1 BBQ tip for beginners?

Get cooking! Too many new BBQ cooks spend all their time over analyzing the whole process when they’d learn more and have some fun by just cooking something. Even if it’s not perfect you’ll enjoy the meal so go for it.

How is BBQ developing in the US, any trends you see coming strong?

All this popularity is surely a good thing and it has created many great new artisans of BBQ. But it’s also created a lot of very average BBQ and I don’t care for that trend.

What are your favourite things to cook for your family and friends? And what's your personal favourite?

Pork ribs are always at the top of my list when cooking for family and friends. People are always very passionate about them and I can cook the many ways to keep myself interested. My personal fave? That depends on the day. I like to mix it up but lately I’ve been on those big meaty beef ribs.

We look forward to seeing you in a couple of months at Grillstock.

Me too! It’s always great fun!

Twitter @drbbq

Grillstock Head Judge and host Dr. BBQ Ray Lampe kindly gave UK BBQ Mag an exclusive Pre-Grillstock interview.