Sunday, May 26, 2013

The KY BBQ Book (Review)

I was caught a bit off guard when asked to write a review of Wes Berry's The Kentucky Barbecue Book for the local paper, and I was honored when they actually published it on one of the best days of the year, no less -- Indy 500 day!

Read it here:  The Kentucky Barbecue Book Review

Could you tell I liked it? A little back story...

I started this blog hoping to explore semi-local back roads and visit neat out-of-the-way eateries via motorcycle. It didn't take long to develop an appreciation for the local BBQ joints, and when I tried to do some research on BBQ in this part of the world I couldn't find anything. (Try doing a Google search for Monroe County BBQ, for example.) So I decided to spend a few winter months visiting local BBQ spots to sample their goods, learn what I could, take some pictures, and put together my SoKY BBQ Guide.

I thought I was finished after profiling 19 places, and then I heard about a WKU prof who just finished writing a book on BBQ spots across the whole state! Of course, that was Dr. Wes Berry. I shot him an email to show him what I had been doing and he suggested I visit a place just a few miles from my house. That 20th BBQ joint ended up being one of my favorites -- they certainly smoke my favorite ribs, and I went back two days in a row. I've been looking forward to the book ever since.

The book did not disappoint. In addition to profiling 111 BBQ spots and providing some sought-after recipes, it describes and documents the various styles of Bluegrass BBQ as never before done. When it was finally printed early this year I bought several copies to give as birthday presents, and Wes kindly signed them all. 

After using the index to find some recipes and check profiles of my own favorite joints, I actually read the book on our Spring Break trip to Florida. While down there I realized it is more than just a book about Kentucky BBQ; it is a book about Kentucky itself.

Alabama's Big Bob Gibson's is favorably mentioned throughout the book, so we stopped by for dinner on our way south.  Glad we did!

Not hard work.

Thinking it would be smart to take notes, I decided to highlight favorite quotes/passages and mark the pages with sticky notes. Great idea, but it didn't help much after every other page got highlighted and stuck...

750 words?
Hmm... I think that's 750 sticky notes.

When we got back from Florida I discovered that I had marked up the wrong book -- this one was intended for my youngest brother. Whoops! Time to buy another book.

Sorry, Juice... I'm keeping this one.

Funny how words look different in print than they do on your laptop. I ran afoul of the suggested word count, and I'm glad they printed it anyway...

Thanks, BG Daily News.

Get your copy by contacting the author at his website or BBQ Facebook page, or by visiting your local bookstore. Or here.


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