Barbecue master Steven Raichlen, host of the PBS program "Project Smoke"says he gets misty when he comes back to Boston having spent so much time in the city earlier in his career.
Raichlen began his food writing career in the hub, working as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine for ten years. He says he came of age during a time when other famous chefs, such as Todd English, were making their mark on the food scene. Raichlen is now entering his second season as host of the PBS program, "Project Smoke" and has also released a companion book. “Project Smoke” is the only show of its kind devoted to cooking entirely with smoke.
Raichlen tells WGBH's Henry Santoro, midday news anchor and host of Henry In The Hub, that smoking is the new grilling. He says there are several reasons smoking has become so popular including, “a proliferation of new easy to use smokers that accommodate everything from traditional wood burning and charcoal burning, to electric smokers, and pellet smokers."
"We’ve become so sophisticated in grilling, that its become part of our culinary vernacular, therefore it’s obvious that we would turn to this new frontier,” he said.
How is barbecue different than smoking?
Raichlen says all barbecue is smoked, but not all smoked foods are barbecue. As examples, he points to Texas brisket or North Carolina pork shoulder, which he says are barbecue that is smoked. To the contrary, he says Scottish smoked salmon and Italian mozzarella are smoked, but not barbecue.
Raichlen’s newest book entitled, Project Smoke, demonstrates that you can pretty much smoke anything including desserts, drinks and appetizers.
Raichlen is an award-winning barbecue master, who was inducted into the barbecue Hall of Fame in 2015. He's widely known as the author of the Barbecue Bible cookbook series, in addition to writing for the New York times, serving as the former restaurant critic for Boston Magazine, and now host of his own television show, "Project Smoke," on PBS, which is entering its second season. He recently released a companion cookbook, titled, "Project Smoke: Seven Steps to Smoked Food Nirvana, Plus 100 Irresistible Recipes."