Posts Tagged ‘Dr. BBQ’
Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ has written another book. This time its SLOW FIRE a Beginners guide to Barbecue. The book is full of very approachable recipes and content driven towards the novice BBQ’er. There is nothing in this book that is cooked above 250F. Its all about low and slow. Very little in the way of competition mentions. No grilling recipes are included. From the basics of brisket, pork, chicken and ribs to the more adventuresome Spicy Orange Duck its a great read.
The sauces have definitely taken it up a notch in this book. They are complex but not so complex that they are not easily replicated at home. I am really looking forward to making banana ketchup. I have been lucky to call Ray a friend for years and so I asked him many many questions not only about his new book but about his life as a BBQ Man.
What inspired you to write SLOW FIRE?
The idea that there are a lot of hero books out there are intimidating. The size of the books are intimidating. This is a down to earth book. I think it is important. I have the experience to do it. Its just about cooking BBQ. Not very much in competition.
Where does your creativity come from
I think that it is a gift that I can just do it. Just write. The way I start is by figuring out how may recipes I need and chapters. I need to write 75 titles. Later on some of them change or they are not viable. I just sit down and do it. At this point there are some good things about being old. First of all I am experienced, I have more comfort in all sorts of kitchens. It makes it easier to write and come up with creative recipes.
Who was/is your BBQ Mentor?
There were two guys- the first is Ed Roith. He was at the top of his game when I started with a Jedmaster. I bought one after him. He took me under his wing and helped me a lot. Most significant mentor. John Beadle from Grand Rapids MI – fun BBQ guy. He was never wildly successful and he always was there for the good times. Made me stay on the Saturday night. He taught me the right way to enjoy it and approach it. I think I was a better cook than him but he taught me how to enjoy it. Its different now – everyone is much more serious. More focused it was different back then.
What other BBQ’s do you enjoy other than your BGE?
I love my weber kettle. When I first stated dated Sandi she had a horrible gas grill. So I brought one (weber kettle) over to her house and left it there. I figured if it didn’t go well it wasn’t as expensive as leaving the egg. I think my Jedmaster is still one of my favorites. When I first started Oklahoma Joe (Horizons) or David Klose were the only viable commercial BBQ’s . The next wave was after Traegers and then the Jedmasters. It was one of the first set it and forget it bbq’s.
Ray Lampe has been sponsored by the BIG Green EGG for years
He also would like to thank the fine folks at Thermoworks
What is your favorite libation or cocktail to go with BBQ?
Jack Daniels & Coke Zero – Early times, Buffalo Times as long as there is coke Zero to go with it.
What is your favorite smoking wood?
Pecan. I always liked it. Karen Putnam was the first to teach me to use combinations of woods . I used to like a combination of oak and cherry.
What is your proudest BBQ accomplishment?
I got to cook with Chris Lilly at the James Beard house cooking real BBQ on the street. Very proud of that. It was a great experience.
Picture courtesy of Hoss’s BBQ & Catering
What is your proudest competition BBQ accomplishment?
The most important trophy would be 3rd overall at the American Royal. Gary Wells gave me the award in 1998. I didn’t expect to be third. Gary was a good friend of mine. AS soon as I walked off the stage there was John Willingham. I had been doing pretty well and he said a few things to that context.
I will tell you that last year at Sams Club winning the GC was pretty darn cool. Making a comeback after so many years.. I think that I am a bit disenchanted with competition BBQ currently. The people are so good at what they do. Everything is soo perfect. Is not as much fun anymore. For me I love going to the Royal – I think it is pretty special and there are lots of memories there for me. Since 1993 I have been going. Over 20 years it has evolved so much.
Where is your favorite place to BBQ?
At home. Staying home and cooking is the place to BBQ that I love the most.
What is your favorite recipe from the book SLOW FIRE?
The BBQ Duck with Spicy Orange Glaze, the Pastrami, and the Cuban Style leg of Pork. The BBQ recipes- there are so many and they are good. I have become a much better sauce maker and the sauces in this book are terrific.
Do you feel that you have learned everything you need to know about BBQ – considering your long career?
No definitely not. I go back a long ways but it never ends. There is always history to learn about. There are so many new things always being developed and always another BBQ joint to eat at.
Where do you like to eat BBQ?
I eat BBQ everywhere. In Florida – Fred Flemings Championship BBQ, Arthur Bryants, Big Bob Gibson, Cozy Corner, In Chicago – Smoque BBQ. Blue Smoke in Manhattan. I love eating BBQ turkey anywhere. In Texas though its always brisket.
What is your best advice to a novice backyard BBQ’er?
Patience. It takes a really long time. I am not a fan of hot and fast. It doesn’t make better food and takes away the element of what BBQ is. Taking a big piece of meat with a lot of fat and making it good. It takes a long time to cook great BBQ – get used to it.
What projects are you working on next?
New Cookbook. Won’t be out till 2014. I am going to grillfest in Minneapolis. Guest Chef (Legends Culinary Series) at Yankee Stadium May 9th & 22nd at the Legends Suite Club. Cooking class in Brandon Florida coming up. Oakland CA- July going to cook Santa Rosa Tex Wasabi’s . GrillStock in June. July at a winery with Chris Lilly. Might see me turn up on the Food Network in July. Book signing at Costco in June.
What are your favorite BBQ forums to read?
The BBQ Forum. The BBQ Brethren Forum – It amazes me how well everyone is very well behaved there. Great information.
How has in your opinions social media/bbq forums changed BBQ?
Its good and its bad. We all get to know each other. We have found each other and networked. It amazes me at the other end of the country I can walk into a bar full of BBQ’ers and I know them. The internet has a lot to do with it. I am not a fan of the contest sharing – the boxes and the recipes. Not that it is not nice to share but it is a lot of sharing. Its watered down the competition. The classes that are the same ingredients – all commercial products. No one seems to make their own anymore. Not skilled as much. Social media is a great communication tool. I can’t stand however the same regurgitated crap over and over again.
How many BBQ books do you own and which besides your own would you recommend?
I own all of them. LOL I would recommend – Walter Jetton’s LBJ’s ranch chef. I would recommend that one. Its from 1965. I buy most of them. I don’t read a lot of them because I just don’t want to steal ideas accidentally.
Where would you ideally like to travel next on a BBQ adventure?
I think I already did it. There are not many more places on my BBQ bucket list. I have been to the greats. Lockharts, Arthur Bryants etc. I have been lucky enough to travel to so many places.
I have not been to Alaska. Maybe ill have to head there next.
You recently came back from the UK, Why do you think Southern US style of BBQ is trending internationally?
The internet has made the world more available. It is the American cuisine. It is catching on. It has just so many elements. It has the food and the culture. Its not like burger or steak joints. When you walk into a joint -that BBQ guy cooking is revered. BBQ has so much more going on other than the food. The concept of cooking the lesser cuts. Very few chain restaurants of BBQ have worked. So many layers that make it interesting. Its good also because we like to eat it. It tastes great.
The way they cut meat there is really different. Brisket is chopped flat and slicing the point. They are very skilled chefs over there. The competition guys get stuck in this pattern here. Creativity is being bred out of it. I hate to see that. I find that over in the UK they have more creativity.
You have a legendary 5 o’clock tattoo – any plans for more?
YES. I was in England and it inspired me to get pork fried rice on the inside of my arm…….
Do you think physical cook books are becoming obsolete? Is everything going to be online?
Obsolete no. Changing yes. They are becoming more collectibles and are becoming more impulse buys. Now to travel its easy to travel with an Ipad loaded with books. This is the first time I have had a lot of this book on downloads for tablets, kindles and Ipads. The big books for $40 or $50 come with the food network stars. Online more of the smaller books are being sold.
Your relationship with fiancee Sandi seems to have mellowed you in the last few years – would you agree?
Yes there is no doubt I am very happy. The place I am in my life and where I am – she is a big part of it. Is all good. Just wait to see what comes next.
Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe has a total of 6 books in print:
Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe Facebook
Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe Twitter
Just want to pass this along. If you see it or have any information please contact them:
Dr. BBQ Ray Lampe had his trailer stolen in Wichita Falls Texas.
It’s 14ft with an extra door on the V front, mags, a kitchen inside and a Big Green Egg
Ray (Dr. BBQ) was one of the first successful American Competition BBQ’ers I ever met. It was 2006 and he was the head judge for the Canadian Open. His BBQ class held in Detroit was the very first one I took. He is an extremely candid person. He never minces words. He has no regrets about calling people out on things that are not right in his book. In the years since he has done a heck of a lot. He has 5 cookbooks published, taught multiples of classes, and has been on countless TV programs and is easily recognizable to anyone in competitive BBQ.
Who is Dr. BBQ?
Ray Lampe grew up in Chicago and after high school spent 25 years in the family trucking business. In 2000 the trucking business had run its course, and it was time for Ray to do something different. He had been participating in BBQ cook-offs as a hobby since 1982, so he decided to take a leap and try to turn his hobby into a career. In 2000 Ray moved to Lakeland, Florida and began his career as a BBQ man.
I caught up with Ray while he was prepping his gear for this weekends first KCBS competition of the year in Lakeland FLA. I haven’t had much time to catch up with Ray over the last few years. I have been busy and so has he. It certainly hit home that we need to talk a bit more often as the conversation we had ended up being about 2 and a half hours. It wasn’t so much of an interview as it was just catching up with a friend.
D- So tell me about your new site Firecooker.com
RL-Well I am the resident Pitmaster of Firecooker.com. I want it to be a comfortable backyard community of grillers and BBQ’ers. I wanted a place to showcase BBQ videos, awesome recipes and a great forum. I think its lots of fun and really informative for anyone out there whether they be a competitive BBQ’er looking for tips or a backyard guy or family that wants to see some great tips. It really is for everyone. Just go on and check it out then upload a video. Its really user friendly.
From the website:
FireCooker is a free service for BBQ and grilling fans. You can use FireCooker to rate and review BBQ and upload your own recipes and videos. You can also keep track of BBQ you’d like to try and buy as well as subscribe to what your buddies have reviewed. The site was built by BBQ fans for BBQ fans. Whether you’re grilling or slow-cooking in the backyard, we want FireCooker to be the place where you can learn new grill skills, talk to other backyard chefs and rate their recipes and videos
D- How long have you been a member of KCBS?
RL- I have been a member of KCBS since 1991. I have seen a lot . I know where the bodies are buried. (he chuckles) I was there for a lot of it.
D- You have put out 4 books over the last few years when is the next book coming out?
RL- The next book to come out will be one I did for Williams Sonoma. Ribs Chops Steaks & Wings It will be available in April and is available for pre-order. So now I have done 5 books in 5 years. I am already working on number 6.
D- Recently you made an announcement that you are no longer the Executive Chef for Southern Hospitality. Was the split amicable?
RL- Absolutely it was amicable. Originally the plan was to open additional locations of Southern Hospitality. Unfortunately due to the economy this just didn’t end up occurring. As such I want to be able to leave my options open. I know that’s probably selfish but I was not a partner. I would like nothing more than to hear that they are expanding the business in the future. They are great guys. Good people to work with. I would certainly like to work with them again in the future. I wish them only the very best.
D- Would you have liked to be on TLC BBQ Pitmasters?
RL- John Markus is a good friend of mine. We were in negotiations for me to do the show. Unfortunately at the time I was already doing Tailgate Warriors. John had such a tight schedule that I just could not be there for them. We just couldn’t work it out. Its just business. It hurts me not to be on that show. I would have loved to be there with my good friends. I know Myron, Leeann, Tuffy, and Jamie. Myron is a ball-buster for sure ( he says laughing) he is a great business man. Its all good for BBQ.
D- You have had an agent now for about a year. How has that impacted your BBQ career?
RL- The opportunity came from Southern Hospitality. My agent was at IMG and has now moved on to another agency. Have an agent that represents me works well. I fill a niche. There are more opportunities.
Some of the things this BBQ man does:
* He’s an expert judge on the Food Networks “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri”
* He’s featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”
* He travels the country as the Spokeschef for The Big Green Egg grill and smoker
* He’s the featured BBQ Chef at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia
* He’s a spokesman for The National Pork Board
* He’s judged at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ Cookoff
* He’s judged at the Terlingua, Texas International Chili Cookoff
* He’s judged at The Best of The West Rib Cookoff in Reno
* He served as Executive Chef at Southern Hospitality BBQ in NY 2008-2009
* He writes the “Ask Dr. BBQ Column” for Fiery Foods & BBQ Magazine
* He’s been a guest chef at the Club Med Food and Wine Festival
* He’s been a guest chef at the Woodford Reserve Distillery
D- Do you have any plans for the Superbowl?
RL- I am doing a corporate Tailgate Party. Ill be working with ribs chicken and all total I will have 4 dishes. I’ll even make a Jack Daniels Pie. Whether I get to see the Superbowl live remains up in the air at this moment. I sure hope I get to.
Thanks to Todd at Plowboys BBQ for the use of this photo
D-What TV Projects are you currently involved in?
RL- Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri is something I have been involved in as an expert judge on the Food Network. I have to say that working with Guy is something. He is a real TV professional. Nothing with him is scripted. I really can’t remember if he ever had to do a retake. He is that good at it.
Ray Lampe: Dr. BBQ – Italian Beef and Sausage Sandwich – Joe Boston’ Italian Beef2932 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622(773) 486-9536
There are also other great TV programs currently in the works and as they come up Ill let you know
Dr. BBQ has appeared on:
* Food Network
* E! News
* The NFL Network
* The Discovery channel
* The Outdoor Life Network
* Daytime Tampa Bay
* Good Morning Texas
* The Howard Stern Show
* Martha Stewart Living on Sirius
* NASCAR Sirius Radio
D- Will you be appearing on Guy Fieri’s new game show Minute to win it?
Minute to Win It, scheduled to debut on NBC on March 14th 2010, at 8pm, challenges contestants to complete ordinary tasks in ten seconds or less. Each completed task earns money, with a maximum payout of $1,000,000 for ten successful completions.
RL- (Laughing) I have not been asked to .
D- Your classes in the past have also included the Greenbriar. Are there plans to continue teaching BBQ there?
RL-The Greenbriar classes we (Ray, Chris Lilly & Myron) did in the past were excellent. I would expect them to continue in the future.
D-Whats on your agenda with Big green Egg?
RL- I’ll be in Phoenix for the Eggs in the Desert Eggfest with Big Green Egg. I’ll be teaching there and hanging out with other eggheads.
D- What competitions do you plan on attending this year?
RL- I would like to get to more but I just can’t anymore. I never have time to practice either. So far this year I will be at Lakeland this weekend, the American Royal, I am trying to get up to New York for the Grilling on the Bay. I will also be attending competitive BBQ’ers first $100,000 event in Little Rock Arkansas, Smoke on the Water. I always knew it would get to $100,000. I am glad I am able to attend the first one. I am trying to put together a schedule that will also allow me to attend some of the other Nascar BBQ events.
D- Where else will you be this year?
RL- I’ll be at the Houston livestock Finals show and the Dallas Pro Bowl event. Lots of other things and places as well. As the dates come up ill have them put on the website. Its going to be a really fun and interesting year. Check the website often for updates.
D-Whats the best advice you would give to people wanting to get into the business of BBQ?
RL- Just remember this. Have integrity. Don’t screw people over. Don’t back stab. If you say you are going to do something then commit to it. Above all BBQ is business. Just like any other business out there. This one just happens to be BBQ. Its not a mystical magical thing. You can help people and that’s great however you have to look out for your own business needs. You have to still meet your commitments. At the end of the day you have to understand its a business.
Also you can follow firecooker on twitter .