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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> personalities

 

James BeckJames Beck of EatMoreHeat.com is my first guest on the new weekly feature of the SuperSite, and he discusses eating superhot chiles and finishing an Apocalypse Burger.  Upcoming guests are Dave Hirschkop who invented Insanity Sauce; chemical engineer Marlin Bensinger, who tests the superhot chiles in his own lab; Jim Garcia of El Pinto Salsa, discussing Scorpion Salsa and the purported "chile crisis;" and Chris Fowler, who uses a polytunnel to grow chillis near Cardiff, Wales.  To hear James on the first podcast, go here.

 


Chile Podcasts LogoSunbelt Shows, Inc., owner of the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite, has announced the launch of Dave DeWitt's Chile Podcasts, a weekly audio show that features interviews with the top leaders and characters in the fiery foods and barbecue industries.  The theme of the first series of three podcasts is "SuperHot" and features interviews with James Beck of EatMoreHeat.com, famous for his tortured consumption of the Apocalypse Burger and others; Dave Hirschkop of Dave's Gourmet, manufacturer of Dave's Insanity Sauce; and chemical engineer Marlin Bensinger, the world's foremost expert on capsaicin. The first three interviews have been recorded and are in post-production.

"These first Chile Podcasts give everyone a chance to listen to people they've only read about," said DeWitt, "and get an insider's view of what's going on behind the scenes in the world of superhot peppers and products."  Producing the Chile Podcasts is David Wolf of America Markets Media in Albuquerque, who said that the first one will be posted "very soon."  Illustrated transcripts of all the podcasts will also be posted.


Myron Mixon with USO Troops
BBQ Pitmaster Myron Mixon with troops

John Markus, Pitmaster and Executive Producer of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters is leading award-winning Pitmasters Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Jaime Geer, Nicole Davenport and George “Tuffy” Stone on their first USO tour. This September, the Kings of BBQ served up more than 2,000 pounds of beef brisket and barbecue sauce, 4,500 pounds of chicken leg quarters, and 210 gallons of barbecue sauce and all the fixings to feed more than 3,000 deployed troops during two events in Kuwait.

“A trip to the Middle East to feed our troops barbecue has been a dream of mine for more than five years,” says John Markus of the trip. Markus, an Emmy-award winning writer, apprenticed under world champion Pitmasters Paul Kirk of Kansas City (aka The Baron of Barbeque) and Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson. He cooks regularly on the New England BBQ circuit, garnering many awards along the way, and has been bestowed a PhB by the Kansas City Barbecue Society—an honorary status awarded to only a handful of Pitmasters.

“Having the opportunity to come to Kuwait and cook for the troops is such a tremendous experience,” adds George “Tuffy”

Johnny Trigg

Pitmaster Johnny Trigg greets the troops

Stone, owner of Q Restaurants, a chain of Virginia-based restaurants, and Sharper Palate Catering Company, an award-winning premier caterer in Richmond, Va. “As a former Marine, there’s nothing more I would have enjoyed than some American barbecue. The smell of barbecue in the air seems to be quite the attraction over here, bringing smiles to troops that we haven’t even fed yet.”

The 210 gallons of barbecue sauces and 100 pounds of rub used during the tour were provided by Head Country Barbecue, an Oklahoma-based company that has been producing award-winning barbecue sauces since 1947. Ole Hickory Pits, a Missouri-based manufacturer and seller of state-of-the-art wood burning smoker ovens provided the barbecue pits. In addition to barbecue brisket and chicken, troops feasted on coleslaw, beans and potato salad.

Myron Mixon, one of the most awarded men in competitive barbecue and chief cook at Jack’s Old South Competition Team, says, “The troops couldn’t be [greater]. Some of them have seen the show and know us. They have concerts and entertainers come through to see them, but what we’re doing is getting their bellies full and puttin’ them to sleep!”

Learn more about the USO here.


ThrowdownRippin’ Red Wing Sauce, the newest product from Rizzotti Foods, LLC will be going head to head with the one and only DEFCON Sauces! The gauntlet was thrown in a thread on peppersandmore.com in August, and both Rippin’ Red Wing Sauce and DEFCON have accepted the challenge.

“It is an honor and pleasure to challenge the mighty DEFCON sauces. We have nothing but respect and admiration for John Dilley and his products,” said Rizotti Foods owner John Rizzotti.Rippin Red Hot Wing Sauce

Hosted by Peppers and More, the contest will feature a blind taste test using tasters who have never tried either of the two sauces. The sauces will be judged on a list of four criteria, rating the food with a 1 to 5 number system, 5 being the best:

  1. How well does the sauce cling/stick to wings? 1-2-3-4-5
  2. Aroma? 1-2-3-4-5
  3. Color of sauce 1-2-3-4-5
  4. Overall taste? 1-2-3-4-5Defcon Sauces

To find out more about the Throwdown, visit www.scottrobertsweb.com, or read the original thread on www.peppersandmore.com!

Learn more about the challengers: DEFCON Sauces and Rippin' Red Wing Sauces.


By Jim McMahon

 

Paul PrudhommeAs one of America’s best-known chefs, Paul Prudhomme has been featured in dozens of prime-time television and cable programs, and has been the subject of many magazine articles. A best-selling author, he has written nine cookbooks and produced six cooking videos.  But Chef Paul is just as well known for his extensive line of Magic Seasoning Blends® – packaged dry spices, rubs, bottled sauces and marinades that can be found on major supermarket shelves throughout all 50 states of the U.S. and in 29 countries around the world.

Food-service and Food Processors

Located in the outskirts of New Orleans, Magic Seasoning Blends is also well known for its extensive line of distinctive seasoning products packaged for restaurants, institutional foodservice, food processors and co-packing operations, which combined represent 65 percent of the company’s total sales volume. Packaging ranges from one-quarter of an ounce to 50-pound bulk containers, with an emphasis on consistent quality.

Recipe R&D for Food Processors

Chef Paul and His SpicesOriginally set-up more than 25 years ago within the celebrity chef’s popular New Orleans restaurant – K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, it has expanded over the years into a every productive research and development kitchen, staffed by several chefs under the personal direction of Chef Paul, and has rolled out more than 10,000 recipes for herb and spice blends, creating custom flavor profiles.

“What is really great about herbs and spices, is that when they are balanced there are so many directions that you can go,” explains the Chef. “When one of our clients says they want a certain kind of chicken flavor, we will come up with four or five original samples for them to try. Then they pick out the one they want and we adjust it to their particular taste.”

To meet the increasing demand for its products, Magic Seasoning BlendsNew manufacturing facility recently consolidated its two separate manufacturing and warehouse operations into a new 125,000 square-foot facility.

“There is absolutely no end to developing herbs and spices,” says Chef Paul.  “And my real passion is to make something that is healthy and exciting for our customers.”

For more information on Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, Inc., visit their website at www.chefpaul.com.

Jim McMahon writes on technology in food processing. He can be reached at jim.mcmahon@zebracom.net.



Pat ChapmanSoon we will be in London for another event with Pat Chapman, England's King of Curries, on May 15 (read all about it, here).  Pat and I go back a long ways.  He's come to Albuquerque several times to make appearances at the Fiery Foods & BBQ Show and once created (with wife Dominique) a gigantic Indian feast at our house for about a dozen friends.  They still talk about that night.  Mary Jane can't forget it because she had to clean every Turban Davepot, pan, dish, and utensil in our house!  Then, we took a culinary tour of India led by the Chapmans, which involved about a dozen Brits, two Yanks, a bus, and some of the best food we've ever eaten.  There was also the incident of me in a turban and a camel.  You can read about that trip here. Then, on a trip to England to visit the Chapmans, Pat, a former RAF jet pilot, drove us around Cornwall at nearly supersonic speeds on the left hand side of the road, which is always disconcerting to Americans.  We went to Land's End, the Eden Project, Mousehole (pronounced "Moussel"), and stayed at some great B&Bs with wonderful food (lamb shanks in wine and currant sauce, yum).  We might have had a few beers and some scotch--I forget!  And then there were the Indian restaurants.  Pat, as The King, was comped at every single one of these he took us to, and they were spectacular--the decor as well as the food.  Read all about that trip here.  So you can imagine how much we anticipate our upcoming visit.

Jaipur Restaurant in Milton Keynes

 

 


Book Tour Continues

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Complete Chile Pepper BookMy book tour continues with appearances in New York City, Milan, and London.  On April 8th at 6:30pm I'm giving a multimedia presentation, "Growing Chiles in Containers" at the New York Horticultural Society, 148 West 37th Street. Details are still being worked out for the Milan appearance, but it will most likely be at a cooking school.  And on May 15 in London, it's "The Pope of Peppers Meets the King of Curries" at Cafe Spice Namaste, 16 Prescott Street. At this event, which runs from 10 am to 3 pm, Pat Chapman and I will both give multimedia presentations on chile (chilli) peppers, with Pat discussing chillis in Indian cuisine while I will discuss, as usual, chile gardening. The event includes a superb luncheon.  See here for more details on the London event.  It will be great to see Pat and Dominique again, as it's been years since they hosted us on our tour of England--mostly Cornwall. Read about that trip here. And here's a shot of me with chilli plants in the Temperate Biome at the Eden Project, one of the largest greenhouse complexes in the world.

 

Dave at Eden Project


Dave Made a "Hero of Sweden

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

 

Flag of SwedenApparently because of all my work over the years on chile peppers, the Swedish government has made me a "Hero of Sweden."  You can watch an inspiring video of the announcement here.


Food Tech

Episode: Mexican

Thursday, February 11 09:00 PM

Friday, February 12 01:00 AM

Thursday, February 18 08:00 PM

Friday, February 19 12:00 AM

With Americans eating more than 85 billion tortillas a year, Mexican food is very popular. But did you know that a donkey is a key to great tequila? Ever wondered how many times they refry refried beans? And what do sound waves have to do with guacamole? Watch host Bobby Bognar as he travels south of the border to help an old artist make a classic Mexican cooking dish from volcanic rock. On the high seas, he'll try to keep his cookies in a rough and tumble hunt for mahi mahi. And he visits El Pinto's salsa processing plant in Albuquerque and talks with Jim Garcia and John and Jim Thomas, "The Salsa Twins" as they process their best-selling salsa. And he'll show us how a fruit that resembles a human brain becomes a classic Mexican after-dinner drink.

Rating: TVPG

Running Time: 60 minutes


Rick Browne's New Book Project

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: restaurants , personalities , history , books

Rick BrowneMy good friend, Rick Browne of "Barbecue America" on PBS, has launched a new project entitled A Century of Restaurants and because he has to travel to 100-year-old (and older!) restaurants all over the country and photograph them, he needs help funding the project.  He has found a publisher and has rounded up about 25% of the funds needed, but needs more help with the production of the book.  I am helping him with a donation and I urge everyone else to assist, especially restaurant people. Here's Rick describing it:

I'm starting an exciting new project that will involve a book and later a TV series about America's oldest restaurants. The book is tentatively titled: A Century of Restaurants, but that may change before it's published. To be specific we'll pick 100 century old restaurants from our list of 213 restaurants located in 50 states, and in fact some are 300 years old, a bunch are over 200, the rest have merely been serving up vittles for ten decades!

In a profession where the failure rate for restaurants is upwards of 60% after 3 to 5 years, these centenarian eateries stand way above their newer competitors. We're going to try and find out why they've outlasted hundreds of thousands of other restaurants by visiting these centenarians in person and talking to the owners, chefs, wait staff, and (perhaps most importantly) customers, as to why they think their restaurant has survived and flourished in one of the most competitive businesses in the country. Oh, and yes, we'll probably grab at bite at most of them as well.

I've launched the project on the Kickstarter website, a site which helps authors, movie makers, artists, and other creative folks find funding for their projects, and I would love you to go there, watch my short video, read about the project, and hopefully be inspired to throw a few bucks our way. Here is the web address.

 

 


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