The Classic Small Batch line is a return to the pre-superhot days, to recapture what attracted a lot of us to spicy in the first place. Many a chilehead cut his or her tastebuds on the vinegar-and-salt Louisiana-style offerings of Tabasco and the other big boys in the hot sauce world. Classic Small Batch is what happens when a dedicated legend of the chilehead world creates his/her own tabletop hot sauce. Think of Classic Small Batch as a gateway sauce for chiles. The pepper content is higher than you’d find in the mass-produced cousins (42% versus 15% or less). Intrigued by this development, I thought I’d pick CaJohn Hard’s brain about the new lineup.
The World Food Championships are still young in the culinary world but they’re well on their way to becoming a major institution. CEO Mike McCloud helms this ever growing ship. You’ll see him at qualifiers throughout the year as well as the main events in Kissimmee, Florida this November. He’s always down to talk about the WFC, where it’s been, is, and is going so I pinned him down for an interview on the food machine he and the team at MMA Creative put into motion.
Each year, BULL Grills runs its Burger Battle competitions around the country. The events are a series of qualifiers for the World Food Championships in November. Kelly Lucas Shippey not only won last year’s BULL Grills San Diego Burger Battle, she judged this year’s event. That makes her a double threat for anyone looking for tips on what to expect. Here’s what she had to say when we picked her noggin.
Man, when I interviewed Amber Button and she told me she was merging her two food gigs into one with her the sole captain at the helm, I thought she meant “sometime down the line,” not “sometime later this week.” Here’s what she posted on her Facebook page earlier today.
If you’ve run into CaJohn Hard on the hot sauce show circuit, you know he’s partnered up with Amber Button for the AmberFyre product line. I’ve really liked what’s come out of that team up so far, especially the black cherry bourbon barbecue sauce. That said, Amber herself was an unknown to me. CaJohn isn’t one to join forces with just anybody, so I called her up this week for an interview on AmberFyre and her adventures in spicy.
You may know champion ‘que man Christopher Prieto from seeing him on Barbecue Pitmasters. Earlier this year, he was the guiding force behind the tome, Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ. It’s not just a collection of recipes, though. Chris spent a lot of time pouring the lessons he’s learned at the pit into the book, sharing information that in some cases runs counter to conventional wisdom, but in a good way. Here’s what he had to tell me when I pinned him down for an interview.
With barbecue, much like with good sex, technique makes all the difference. Put the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time and you end up with a bad taste in your mouth. Dr BBQ’s, Flavorize, hones in on a topic barbecuers spend years trying to perfect: the techniques for getting the best flavor into ‘cue. Not cooking itself (although there is plenty of that in the book), but the marinades, injections, brines, rubs, and glazes that bring great flavor to barbecue. I pinned down Ray “Dr BBQ” Lampe for a quick Q&A about the book. Here’s what he had to say.