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From BBQ to Q-Cuisine

AuthorJudging from the title, this may seem like leftovers from my last blog (which was homage to the joys of summer) but actually, it’s not. It’s more of an observation of just how far the art of cooking with fire has advanced in my lifetime.

Now, I have the good fortune of growing up in a town (St. Louis, MO) where cooking meat outdoors and adding spice and sauce have a long and storied history. In my lifetime I have seen the practice commonly known as barbeque evolve into something very nearly resembling Q-Cuisine.

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but think back to when Dad (or even Grandpa for that matter) would burn meat laying it over a circular, open grill. His only tool for controlling the heat was a squirt bottle filled with water. Yet somehow with his crude tools he could turn burgers and hot dogs into something whose taste I can still recall as magical to this day.

Nowadays, you can go into your local Lowes or Home Depot and you will see a stunning array of outdoor appliances that grandpa would never have dreamed of. I think the big turning point for home barbeque was the advent of The Weber Kettle. This gave us a tool that allowed cooking at a somewhat controlled temperature and without direct heat. Now we could actually cook a slab of ribs at home and not turn it into a carbon residue overlaying bones.

AuthorBeyond that, consider what has happened to the local barbeque joint. In fact, here in St. Louis we have a couple of BBQ places that have been recognized nationally as among the best in the country….see Pappy’s & Bogart’s Smokehouse. I’m also, fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Kansas City which I feel has elevated cooking with smoke to a true art form. In my mind (and many others) Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que is the ultimate evolution of Q-Cuisine. Somehow they take a humble slab of ribs and with spice and smoke create a true masterpiece. In fact, Anthony Bourdain cites it on his list of 13 places you must eat right alongside some world famous restaurants.

Now I know regionally there is great debate over how and what makes a great BBQ place. I know Memphis and Texas have some spectacular places that I’ve yet to try but trust me, they are on my list. I know about Franklin Barbeque in Austin, it’s just that I haven’t been able to set aside the time needed to both wait through their line and still keep my appointments when I’ve traveled there. It also, doesn’t help that they’re only open for lunch.

I would really love to hear from all our customers about your local dining treasures, let’s see them in the Comment Section down below.  I would be happy to share them in a future blog. Now, enough already, this is really making me hungry!

About the Author
Mark Nardoni is a Strategic Account Manager at Optima Graphics.
He has been in the Trade Show industry since the early 90s.
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