We are either a food nut, or persuasive, or stupid, because this past Saturday we almost talked SK Chef, Eric O’Neill, Smart Kitchen’s President, into skipping a boating event with booze and bikinis to sit in a grocery store parking lot and watch/speak with 3 of the best Chefs in the State of Arizona. The stupid possibility comes into play for not even considering asking for an invitation to the boating event.
The good news for members of the public who are in Arizona or Arizona proximate is that the show will go on again, one more time at the AJ’s on Val Vista & Baseline in Mesa, next Saturday at 11:00 AM.
The series is being hosted by AJ’s Fine Foods and AZ Magazine to celebrate Arizona’s best and its Centennial. It was a really fun, tasty learning event. We picked up some tips, shot some photos & video, nibbled some high-end free samples and spoke with the chefs and a lot of nice foodies.
The first presenter was Bryan Dooley from Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue in Cave Creek, Az. who won The Arizona Republic’s Best Barbecue this year. We got to hear of Bryan’s amateur culinary journey barbecuing in pits with his family in the mid-west and then about his professional culinary journey from the Culinary Institute of America to fine dining jobs at the Fairmont to opening his own place: Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue.
For the audience, Bryan demonstrated making his signature rub and then how to apply it to some St. Louis Cut, Pork Spare Ribs. He did not dismount his commercial smokers in Cave Creek but showed how to do some Smoking “Low & Slow” on a Weber Grill with foil-wrapped Cherry Wood.
While getting everything ready Bryan answered questions from the audience.
The Smoking/BBQ process would have taken 5 to 6 hours but luckily Bryan planned ahead and had some finished Ribs (and Prickly Pear Barbecue Sauce) ready for the salivating crowd right on time at 11.45. Even if the presentation had not been so enjoyable (and we’d not won a trivia prize of a smoky-smelling, in a good way, t-shirt) the rib sample was worth the wait.
And Bryan has a new book, Stories and Recipes from Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue for sale on Amazon.
Tomorrow, we should have Matt Taylor’s demonstration up and then after that Josh Herberts.
If you have a chance to make it next Saturday at Aj’s Fine Foods in Mesa, try to get there.
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