Food News & Chews Episode 30 – Wes Berry & KY BBQ

Food News & Chews Episode 30 – Wes Berry & KY BBQ


No! Don’t let him put me in
there with all those other
butts.Well, I’ve actually got a whole
sheep in here. It’s a mutton. I’ve been cooking this thing all
night for this episode of Food News & Chews. What do you
think about that? Oh, man. This is Monroe County Dip. We
got that from our buddyâ Where is everybody else’s? We got this from our buddy Wes
Berry, with KY BBQ he’s our guest on the show.
Can’t wait for the next segment, interview with him. Then we
have the ultimate pot luck
recipe It’s his kicked up Cornbread
Salad from the book. Can’t wait to try it out with some of this
mutton. Oh, yeah. Excuse us while we eat. We’ll
be back with Food News & Chews.Hey! Welcome to Food News &
Chews and this is the Food News. It’s the barbecue
edition and Food News. And, we’re going to bring you some
barbecue headlines. We have a barbecue. You’ve got
to excuse me, I’m a little bit
loopy. I’ve been putting wood on a fire
all night, doing the low and
slow barbecue method. We’ve got our
friend Wes Berry on the episode today. Yeah. And, he’s written a book called
Kentucky barbecue. Well, sure. And you been
preparing. And, tell us a little bit about the barbecue
newsâ the sauces and that kind of stuff. It’s the rage
right now and actually, barbecue is very popularâ It’s in the limelightâ âalong with beer. Picnics and family style
gatherings are really in and we’ve spent all night long doing
some mutton and some brisket and some
shoulder and just kind of exploring different regions but
you know, Sylvia always has some good food news
for me. Yeah, let’s get into some food
news. Hey! Interesting thing, food safety is increasing
as a concern. It’s nearly everyday in the summer and while
this will have been a bit in the past, a couple
weeks by the time people see
this show. The latest thing is vodka. Do
you believe people are messing
with vodka?Now, I think there is actually a
safety label or a safety
disclosure on the side of a bottle. This couldâ What’s wrong with vodka? âthis could make you blind.
Anyway, seriously, it does bring
back the issue that I know you’re
passionate about which is knowing where your food comes
from. Sure. Which may be even more important
than local. It’s very important. So, vodka? …is being contaminated with
methanol and bleach. Isn’t that what it’s made of
anyway?Anyway, let’s move on. Wow. Food trucks are big into
barbecue. And why is that
Jeremy? Is it easier to cook? Why do we
have such a thing going on in barbecue? It’s the portability of it, you
can prep barbecue ahead of time. Transports well. Transports well. You know, plus smokersâ all
you really need is a good fire a good wood fire and you can do
that anywhere. You can do that in the woods so
barbecue just seems to be a
great thing for festivals, good for
sharing, great for large
populations. And they say, you know, here’s a
kind of a thing with Paula Deen having been in the news a lot. Yeah. It’s fairly low cal. I’m
getting somewhere with this. Uh-huh. Anyway, fairly low cal stuff. Not when I make it. It’s got all kinds of sauce and
all of that. You know, but
obesity was just declared a disorder. A
disorder. What are your thoughts on that?
I guessâ you know we’re
talking about disorder versus a disease,
right? Which one is it? Well, it’s kind of the same
thing. Now, they think it will
lead to a lot more research because
it falls now into a category. It’s kind of interestingâ So, they labeled it a disease
though not just a disorder? Yeahâ well, it’s called a
disorder. Okay. But I think it is kind of the
same thing because they
categorize it as something we need to really
be paying attention to and Paula Deen is so interesting in
that whole thing too because she had all of that going on with
Diabetes and all thatâ and
late night jokesâ you know, “Paula
Deen has a great heart. Well,
only when she stops eating her own
food.” That sort of thing you
know. Ohhhhh, yeah that’s right. But I mean, it’s all real
interesting that we’reâ I guess that obesity comes
intoâ And Bloomberg with all of his
stuffâ âgenetic issues. And talk
about lifestyle choices also
with obesity. You know also if they are going
to classify it then it’s the AMA
that did that. Yeah. Maybe they did it to code it
better to make it easier toâ
for insurance companies to pay for it. It all leads to all of that. Yeah. No, that’s exactly right.
Uhâ Beer. Does beer go with
barbecue? You know, I’m a wino.Yeah, beer definitely goes with
barbecue. That’s like peas and
carrots. Well, here’s some news. And some other things I can say. Alltech and Dr. Pearse Lyons Yeah. One of our great sponsors and a
great source of material and
information. He’s at the Irish Gathering
where they are going to try to
get people to come to Ireland all year long who have
roots there. Sure. I’m going. Are you? I’m half
Scotch. Half Bourbon. Half
wine. Isn’t that about how to brew
beer, the history of beer? Well, he’s going to serve
Johnathon’s Woodsongs, MIchael Johnathon’s Woodsongs
will perform in Ireland here in
July of 2013 and they are going to serve
Bourbon Barrel Ale. Nice. And so, get people to come to
Ireland to drink Bourbon Barrel
Ale. Sounds good. Kentucky &
Ireland. Let’s do it. Final piece of news is
interesting. Nickelodeon, all of this stuff about
Bloomberg. Trying to save the
world, Big Gulps and require composting and all
of that kind of stuff. Disney,
decided to take away all advertising you
know the GMO stuff, Whole Foods is refusing. What do you mean by take away
all advertising? Advertising that is bad for
kids. Oh, I see. Advertising sugary kinds of
things. Well guess who stood up against that? Who? Nickelodeon. You’ve got little
kids. What do you think about
that? Well, I think that’s, guest I’ve
got to hand it to Disney. I
think it’s a really nice thing. Even though my
daughter is only three years old
she is always, “I want that and can I have
that?” “Will you buy me this?” “Can we eat this?” Yeah. You know just the commercialism
just sinks in very young and it
can really influence your decisions. Well, think about that because
Nickelodeon said they’re in
charge of programming, not food
choices. Anyway, we’ll be back
with talking about food choicesâ
yummy. Yeah. Yummers. Barbecue. We’ll be
right back with Food News &
Chews. Welcome back to Food News &
Chews and I’m sitting here between twoâ I finally had to
sit between them because all
they want to talk about is butts.I was getting a little self
conscience so anywayâ Jeremy!
Tell me about… I’m with my pal Wes Berry a.k.a.
Professor Pork Belly. That’s a
great name somebody dubbed to you, right?I dubbed myself. Dubbed and rubbed. We’re
talking butts, we’re talking and
pork shoulders and mutton and brisket and all
the good stuff that is good
barbecue, right? All those good smokey treats,
you got it! Man, I can smell it! We’re here
at Azur. Ahhh, it smells so good. We’re going to be doing a great
big dinner tonight. You’ll hear about it later and
we’ll be like, “Oh, my gosh. We
have eaten way too much.” Well, we did all these styles of
barbecue which I really wasn’t
even familiar with and as a chef I know two
rules. Low & slow. What is the low part? The low means temperature. Ohhhhh. And the slow means time. I told you I don’t know anything
about cooking. Right on. He cooks everything that I do,
Jeremy. It refers to my I.Q. and my
metabolism. Hey. Quickly. The CNN guy said
the other morning that the
camera adds ten pounds to you and takes
away ten I.Q. points. That means I am in the minus. You guys are too witty. I will
have to catch up. Tell us about all of this. Well, you know. I started out in
2009 with an idea to eat at
every barbecue place in Kentucky. Look how trim you are. Well, I’m shaved some off. It’s low cal though. Yeah, absolutely. Actually, barbecue is supposed
to be. 100% American protein. It’s
like the Atkins Diet, I guess. Yeah, it’s not like cream sauces
it’s more like and Jeremy you
know about sauces. You just put away the potato
salad and the sauce and the
banana pudding and all the good fixings and
you’re okay. Meat and a dry
rub. Have all you want. When I hit the road, I am
looking to taste meats
primarily. I’ve eaten at 170 barbecue places now in Kentucky. One hundred seventy. I tend to not eat side dishes
unless they were awesome. That’s true. You can choose.
You have to know some taste to
know what they are. But, you’ve got this. Tell us
about this. That’s right. I have written a
book called the Kentucky BBQ
Book. It came out in March. In the
book I showcase my favorite
places. Places that ranked at least good
on my Good Scale. Right. I did some of the
recipes from in there and
there’s different regions and styles in Kentucky
which hopefully we can talk
about. But, I only found a couple typos
and one of them is that Azur was
not in there. I figured maybe after tonight
for the second printing. You need an Addendum. I see now you do barbecue. How many barbecue places, I mean
how would you find out how many
there were? Well, at first I hit the
internet but I also calledâ Just people whoâ Real estate offices, word of
mouth. I used many ways of
finding out of where to go. Sure. Yeah. Are you from Western
Kentucky? Right? I’m from Barren County, Glasgow
is the seat of that county. Yeah. Originally. I love that place and Bowling
Green. South Central Kentucky is what
we call it. Yeah. Yeah, but Jeremy what
about the regions of the state? Western Kentucky is one of them. Well, I think this is a good way
to kind of pose the question. What would be maybe the one meat
or style that kind of defines KY because nobody else seems to
really do it? You know, I started writing this
book on Kentucky barbecue
because it ticked me off when I would
watch the television and I would
see the shows on America’s best barbecue and
they would never mention about
barbecue in Kentucky. Sure. They mention the big four
places. North Carolina. What are the
big four places? North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas
City, Texas. Okay. Right. So, and I grew up eating stuff
called Monroe County style. Very weird. They take a Boston
Butt, they freeze it, slice it
thinly on a band saw, basically, grill
these thin pork steaks over
hickory coals for about 15-45 minutes. They sop
it with this weird sauce of
butter, lard, vinegar cayenne pepper and black pepper
and salt. It is weird. More like a kind of a North
Carolina sauce. It is. East North Carolina sauce.
That’s what I thought barbecue
was. When I hit the roads, I
discovered that Western Kentucky
is mostly about whole pork shoulder cooked
for a really long time over
hickory coals some people use Boston Butts.
Around Davis County/Owensboro
you’ve got the mutton tradition. Oh, yeah. What’s the big place
there? Uhhh, well Owensboro’s most
famous restaurant in the state,
Old Hickory is beloved by many. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, mutton is old sheep. How old is that place? Old Hickory? Yeah. Been in business since like
1918, I think. Wow. So, that’s pretty solid. I bet there are some real
stories out there too. Yeah, totally. I met many
characters in my travels. So,
the book actually started out to be a
simple guide but it turned out
to be stories about people who do the work,
anecdotes about Kentucky
landscapes and language and recipesâ Yeah. You’re an English
professor, right? I do teach. So that led you to this and
you’re a native of Western
Kentucky. Yeah, so did you get into
cooking the barbecue or just
more are you more Uhhâ âmore the aficionado of
tasting? Both. I smoke meats at home a
lot. But I have also been a
food freak all my life. I just wanted to be able to do
something that would enable me
to hit the roads and talk to people and eat a lot. Man, that sounds likeâ Check, check, check! â hit the jackpot on that!
Barbecue is great. It’s got
such a great history. Especially in the whole south.
It kind of bridges all of your
different classes and different sides, amazing
stuff. I see where you’ve got a
passion for it but also wanted to learn how to cook
it. You know, there are so many
versatile things to do barbecuing versus
grilling is a whole different
argument. Like the one thin pork steaks you’re talking
aboutâ that’s more like
grilling. It’s grilling! Right! As opposed to western low
and slow as we know as barbecue. Yeah. Lots of good stuff. What do you like to drink with
your barbecue? Sauce, right? Oh, there’s sauce, right.
Something called beer. Doesn’t
that go with barbecue? You know. If you’re talking
about what I really want to
drink with barbecue it would be Sweet Tea.
Seriously. Hahaha. Yeah, right. It goes really well. But also,
some kind of pilsner or lager. I’m sure there are some wines
that go well with it. It’s not
my area. Oh, that would be me. I’m a
wino. Gotcha. I like Bourbons. Bourbons
before, Bourbons after but not
during. Something very cold and
refreshing because it’s going to
be hot outside when you barbecue. Yeah. Jeremy, when you were in
culinary schoolâ because
barbecue is really popular now. Food trucksâ I
have the J.Renders on my shirt. Yeah, yeah. The food truck favorite and
stuff because it’s relatively
inexpensive. Mmm, I think it’s kind of a big
rebirth over the past five
years. It’s very popular. It is popular. It’s kind of a
good ole American tradition.
Remnants of the recession. People are getting
back in the community,
gathering. Barbecue is a good thing for that. Yeah. It’s where everybody bringsâ
it’s almost like a potluck, a
social interaction and that’s kind of what we all
came back to. I would say in
culinary school barbecue is kind of shunned.
Just like old Southern cuisine.
It was considered fattening, processed and dirty
and sloppy but it’s not. It’s
actually way more pure and traditional. Even
though there are things like
canning and preserving and pickling it doesn’t seem
fresh but you’re taking
something at the peak of its’ season and preserving it. Oh, nice. Perfect flavors. Hey! What’s next? What’s next?
You’ve done barbecue tasting all
over. Yeah. Now, how are you going to branch
out? And grow your barbecue? Writing a book is a whole lot of
work. Take a vacation, right? I’m hosting a little tv show
down Bowling Green way. What is that? It’s calledâ a segment of the
Local Traveller. Yeah. Amy Hess. Yes, Amy Hess she is great. So, basically, I would like to
do more tv stuff. Oooh, oooh! Join us, we love it! It’s fun business. As long as I
get to have fun, talk to people
and eat food I’m pretty happy with that. Now, what do you think about
barbecue sauce? I can appreciate many different
kinds of sauces but I like the
meat that stands on its’ own. Like a dry
rub. Some of my favorite places
in Western Kentucky, they just salt the
meat and put it on the pit and a
couple of places put it on the pit even without
salt. Wow. They give flavor through some
dipping sauces and stuff like
that. Like Old Hickory in Owensboro their
Worcestershire base mutton dip. Mmmm. Hmmm. Yeah. Well, okay. Sounds great.
Well, Jeremy you’ve got a lot of
sauces that you’re getting ready to prepare.
Do you like sweet? We’ve got a few different kinds
of varieties but more
importantly we actually have some good fixins’. Some
kicked up a cornbread salad
recipe from the book. We’re going to do it in the next
segment. Wes is going to put
that together for us. Alright. That sounds great.
Now, I’m sitting here between
two buttsâ. I mean two really great guys and we’ll
be right back with Food News &
Chews with Wes Berry.Uhâ Jeremy. Don’t interrupt
me. I’m trying to learn how to
cook.First time I’ve ever hear you
read a cookbook Sylvia. That’s like an oxymoron. Sylvia
cook. Doesn’t belong in the
same sentence.Hey! We’re back. We’re back
with Food News & Chews. And
tell us what we’re going to be doing
here and you’ve got to get this
book because that is where the recipe is. We’re here with Wes Berry if
you’re just tuning into us now. Hey Folks! Wes Berry A.K.A. Professor Pork
Belly, I love that name, I’ve got to keep bringing it up. It’s awesome! He’s got all the
research. Look how trim he is. Cool thing is I went through
this book almost page by page
looking for some good finds. This is
one of the recipes that stood
out for summertime. We’re going to be doing this
around mid-summer; when the show
is going to be on. Mmmhmm. We want to give you guys some
ideas of something you can take
to a potluck. A great idea. Yeah. Cornbread salad rocks! I
love it! Cornbread is great by
itself but when you put all of this good stuff
in there I will eat it for
leftover, breakfast, lunch dinner and for a midnight snack. Yum! I love that. I love that too. For all times. And one thing that seems to
beâ talk about cornbread for a
minute. You know in the Southâ a lot of people
in the North add flour to your
cornmeal and that makes it more cake-y. Sure But in the South, it’s straight
corn. Corn meal some eggs, a
leavener and typically, it’s great when it
comes out of the oven but the
next dayâ it leaves a lot to be desired. That’s right. It dries out some
and this is a way you can take
that leftover cornbread and do something
goooood with it. Show us what’s up? Alright, here you go. Alright. So, you’ve got your leftover
cornbread. What we’re going to
do is just layer this cornbread salad. Mmmhmmm. In a bowl. I start with half of
the cornbread, we have black eye
peas I also use pinto beans here.
Just simply layer this stuff on
there. Fresh tomato. Good, nice tomatoes. Go ahead
Sylvia. Did you pick upâ where did you
pick up these recipes? Are
these your own original ones? No, no. I’ve seen different
cornbread salads around for
years. Just around? And they just
happen to go with barbecue. You’ve got it. Tony’s Barn. Fresh corn. I must say this was
fresh, it wasn’t cooked but you
know if you’re going to leave this
overnight the acids in the
buttermilk and the sour cream will cook that
corn… Mmmhmmm. right in the bowl. But if
you’re going to precook, whip it
together, sauté it and then take it over. Right on. You know, I just put some olives
in there. I never saw someone’s
cornbread salad recipe that has olives in
it but I love olives of all
kinds, why not? You know, if you live anchovies
you could probably put some
anchovies in here. Oh, that’s okay. We’ll stick
with this.So, olives, cheeseâ Cheddar cheese. â but the point isâ you can
use Monterey Jack or any kind
cheese you like. This sounds like a very creative
thing. We’ve got some greenâ poblano
peppers, I often use regular
green peppers. Right. You know it’s kind of like a
seven layer dip but even the
corn chips are in it so I can just eat it like a bowl
of cereal. You got it. Really. One of the essential ingredients
of a cornbread salad is a sauce.
You’ve got sour cream, mayonnaise and
ranch dressing spices. The more of this the better and
so basically, to make the whole salad you want to do this again,
right? Just layer it up! Make a layer salad. It is like a layer salad. It’s a glass bowl so you can see
how awesome it is. Pretty. An impressive party food for
sure. Ahhh, here comes the tomatoes. You know you can do this in July
and August in Kentuckyâ those tomatoes are going to be
rocking. You’ve got to buying
local too. You’ve got it. You know folks, when I was
traveling around the state
eating barbecue a lot of folks put out the same
basic side dishes; potato salad,
beans and slaw. It’s rare to find a
place that actually puts out
interesting side dishes. No offense to my people here but
I find myself asking time and
time again “Why can’t you give me an
interesting side dish?” Tony’s
Barn in Lawrenceburg actually is the
onlyâ Tony’s Barn. Tony’s Barn is the only place in
the state that I had cornbread
salad. Trinka’s Cornbread Saladâ That’s this recipe. Yes, recipe in the book. Page 299. Her salad is not as decadent as
this one but it is kind of a basic cornbread salad. I love decadent. Yeah, sure. Oh, that sounds delicious. Anyway, I would say thatâ Does this need to chill? Let it sit in the refrigerator
for a couple of hours and let it
marry. Yeah. Then again eat it at anytime of
the day. It’s good for you. That sounds great. Hey before we go away I want to
make sure people know how to find your book. I saw it
in our local bookstores but is
there a way do you have a website? Thanks for asking. Yes, I do
have a website. I’m a walking
billboard. Ahhhh. It’s right here.
wesberryliving.com Thank you
Martha Stewart. Sylvia, you’ve got to get a
spoon here. I’m about to dive
into it. Alright. If you want me to sign a copy
for you and support the hungry
professor go to there and order one and I
will ship it right to you. But
also local bookstores have it. Alright, we’ve got to try this. Yes, folks get the book. The
recipes are a lot of fun. I
enjoyed having a cookout. Wes, thanks
for hanging out. Ohhhh, that is so good. My pleasure, thank you for
having me on. Oh, and by the
way you can put bacon in here too. Ohâ baconâ that would kill
me. Isn’t this good? Oh, man that’s delicious. All fresh ingredientsâ it’s
great! Alright, well, go to his
website, get the book, page 299.
Okay. And we’ll be back next week with
Food News & Chews. Oh, man. I’m taking that to my
next barbecue. It’s good. That stuff is great
man. I know.