The 25th Anniversary edition of the Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook -- which hits store shelves on April 27 -- dives into the world of competition barbecue via the stories and recipes contributed by the most interesting and accomplished characters from the organization's 11,000 members.
"It's a huge variety -- that's one of the real strengths of the book. It could help somebody who is new to barbecue as well as those that fancy themselves the best," says author Ardie Davis.
Davis co-wrote the book with fellow charter member Chef Paul Kirk and Carolyn Wells, who founded the Kansas City Barbeque Society with her late husband Gary. In an effort to reflect how the organization has grown over the past two decades, the cookbook is a collection of more than 200 recipes from more than 100 contributors.
"For us this was about putting some faces to the society, telling their
stories and making it more than a cookbook," says Davis.
It certainly reads like more than a cookbook, with tips on tricks such as extending fold-out tables to save your back (PVC pipe is the key) and making a British recipe for warm chocolate mud pudding. Woven within the logical progression of food categories from appetizers to desserts are stories of how dishes were invented and the quirky culture of barbecue competition. There's also a handy series of charts on cooking times and measurements.
"The reader really benefits from our collective experience," Davis says.
In many ways, it's a peek into the psyche and humor of the competitive barbecue world. But whether you get the jokes or not -- and some may require a sense of humor forged over smoke and fire -- the recipes alone make this one worth a look.
But, Davis notes, "Ultimately the people are as flavorful as the food."
The Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook will be published on April 27. There's a full slate of author events this May and June -- the first in the Kansas City area is on May 29 at I Love A Myster in Mission, Kansas. Tomorrow, we'll feature Davis' recipe for Smoked Deviled Eggs.
Home page photo by The Busy Brain.