It's Labor Day Weekend and there's still time to fire up the grill. WGBH's Henry Santoro interviews Chef extraordinaire Steven Raichlen in this segment of Henry In The Hub. Below is a loose transcription of the interview.
Henry Santoro: Steven Raichlen is this country's foremost authority on all things grilling, smoking and live fire cooking. His cooking shows on PBS are getting rave reviews. He's won multiple James Beard Awards and multiple awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, including the coveted Julia Child Award. He's the author of 30 cookbooks, the latest being "Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades Bastes, Butters and Glazes Too."And it's a pleasure to welcome my friend Steven Raichlen to WGBH and back to the house that Julia built.
Steven Raichlen: Henry, it is great to see you. And boy, what a nice memory about Julia. You know, I remember dining at her house.
Henry Santoro: Well, we should say that you got your start here in Boston. You were a food critic and restaurant critic for Boston magazine for many years. And that's how you met Julia.
Steven Raichlen: Absolutely.
Henry Santoro: She's so missed. But you know, it's funny, in this building that we are taping this interview in, if there are nooks and crannies of the building where there were pictures of Julia... her presence is in this building, of course which is great.
Last night, Steve, I fired up the grill and cooked your coffee rubbed steak. It was a flank steak and that rub recipe was nothing short of amazing. How often do you hear from fans who cook from your books?
Steven Raichlen: I hear from them a lot. I have been told that I've saved marriages, that I've engendered marriages, that I have made people look really good when they're behind a grill, and it makes me feel terrific.
Henry Santoro: And that charisma that you bring to grilling can be seen on your PBS shows and also at Barbecue University, where you teach people to cook the way Steven Raichlen cooks.
Steven Raichlen: It's my busy time.
Henry Santoro: What kind of grills do you work with your students on out there?
Steven Raichlen: We have about 40 grills and smokers in the collection. And during the span of the three day course, we fire all of them up. One of my goals in teaching is to cover how to use every imaginable sort of grill -- smoke or charcoal grills, gas grills, wood burning grills, offset barrel smokers, electric smokers, and water smokers. That's part of the course.
Henry Santoro: What's your go-to?
Steven Raichlen: My go-to is probably a charcoal kettle grill. I've got one that's built into a cart, and I use that awful a lot, but I've also been known to use a gas grill on a busy weeknight, so I'm fairly ecumenical.
Henry Santoro: Are rubs, sauces and marinades as important as the meat -- fish and poultry -- that they go on?
Steven Raichlen: They are very important. Now, are they as important? No, because, you know, meat is sustenance and you can't eat it raw. ...I guess I like to compare it to fashion. ...Rubs, marinades, butters, bastes, and sauces, they're sort of the accessories to fashion, but they are the difference between satisfactory steak and extraordinary steak. We build layers of flavor with rubs and cures and brines.
Henry Santoro: Very nice. Steven Raichlen -- his latest book is "Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Marinades, Bastes. Butters, and Glazes Too." Steven, come back anytime.
Steven Raichlen: it's a pleasure.