Kingsford® University 2011

I'm continuing where I left off in part one. In this installment I'll cover the rest of day two, which included a bunch of demonstrations and food.

Next on the agenda was a demonstration of beef cuts from Alan Turner, Executive Chef for Snake River Farms.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Snake River Farms produces American Wagyu beef, which is arguably the best beef in America. They use highly-sustainable methodologies and their cattle are raised from the finest stock in the best environment. In short, they do old-school beef.

Kingsford® University 2011

Photo courtesy of Meathead,

Just look at the marbling in this stuff, it's insane!

Kingsford® University 2011

Photo courtesy of Meathead,

Lunch started with a "Cook Once, Eat Twice" demonstration from Chris Lilly. The idea is to find creative ways to use leftovers from a barbecue cook. For this demo Chris showed us a great loaf pan chicken recipe. It's a whole chicken that is slathered with a mixture of 3/4 cup applesauce and three tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. It's then coated with a rub and cooked in a loaf pan indirect (breast-side up) for about two hours.

You then eat the chicken straight off the cooker and use the leftovers in a salad, or in our case, in chicken soft tacos with grilled veggies.

For sides, we were served a great Coal-fired Pico de Gallo, and Pit-Stop Guacamole where the ingredients are straight off the grill. Oh, and Chris' Grilled Sweet and Spicy Pickles were addicting. I think I ate a whole jar.

Next we had a very intersting pork butchery demonstration from Stephen Gerike, Director of Food Service Marketing at the National Pork Board.

Kingsford® University 2011

To say that Stephen knows his hog is an understatement. "Meathead" Goldwyn (of and I picked his brain about pork for a good thirty minutes leading up to the demonstration. In addition to being a representative of the National Pork Board, he also raises his own heritage breed hogs.

He masterfully broke down an entire half-hog into the various market cuts.

Kingsford® University 2011

The most practical takeaway from this demo is to look for pork that is darker in color. I won't go into the details, but darker reddish pork translates to a more tender and flavorful product. It may be "The Other White Meat", but pale pork is not your friend.

Kingsford® University 2011

Our 'Cued Cocktail Hour was kicked off with a presentation from Dan Gardner, of Four Roses Bourbon. Four Roses is making a huge resurgence with their return to their distillery roots dating back to 1888.

Next, Josh Perry, mixologist at Picán Restaurant in Oakland, California demonstrated what goes into a great cocktail. One process that was intriguing is called "fat washing". This basically entails mixing meat fat into a liquor, chilling it to solidify the fat, then skimming the fat off and filtering the liquor. He used this process to create some bacon-infused bourbon for the event.

Marcus Wang, senior scientist with Kingsford demonstrated a great grilled lemonade. It consists of lemons that are halved, dipped in sugar then grilled for just a few minutes.

Kingsford® University 2011

Photo courtesy of Meathead,

In the mean time, a simple syrup made with a mixture of sugar, honey and a few sprigs of rosemary is heated on the grill.

The lemons are then squeezed into a pitcher and the juice is diluted to taste with water, then sweetened with the syrup. He then added a little bourbon to kick things up a notch or two.

After cocktail hour we were served a "light snack" of chicken wings, ribs and sausage. Later we were served an outstanding dinner of the brisket that had been cooking all day, twice-baked potatoes, and grilled ratatouille.

As with any big event there are unsung heros that just do their thing behind the scenes.

Kingsford® University 2011

That guy on the right is Ken Hess. He's Chris Lilly's sous chef and the man is an incredible cookin' machine! He's also a very smart, nice, and humble guy. You'd never in a million years guess that he's a CIA-trained chef from Brooklyn. Dude is the real deal, and he worked like a madman for us! I think Chris would agree that Ken is the guy who that makes it all look easy.

In part three I'll recap day three at the NASCAR race and dinner Sunday night.

Read more:
Part one
Part three


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Very cool so far. I had just one question though. Do you know what they used to start their charcoal chimney's with? Thanks in advance...
Blogger Unknown said...
Phillip - They just used plain ol' newspaper. If you have an outdoor propane burner (or even a side burner on a gas grill) that works really well for turbo-starting a chimney. I use my turkey fryer burner.

Warning: Don't leave it on there too long or it will melt the chimney grate over time.
Anonymous PackerBacker BBQ said...
John... Can you tell us what cut of beef that was in the picture! That was an incredible looking cut of beef! If I had to guess... Tri Tip ??

PackerBacker BBQ LLC
Star Idaho
Blogger Unknown said...
Dave - That, sir, was the flat iron.
Blogger Unknown said...
P.S. The flat iron is the second most tender cut on the steer, after tenderloin. It's quickly becoming my go-to steak.
Blogger Chris said...
Getting to talk with Ken for a while on Sunday was probably one of the highlights of the weekend. He truly is a talented, nice, and humble guy. Great picture of him!

I wish I had videoed the pork presentation but so much information slipped by.
Blogger Crystal Martin said...
What a great I wish I had found you guys out there.

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