If you’re learning to cook or just want to polish your skills, pick up a copy of the new Flavors of Kentucky Cooking School cookbook. The primer for beginning cooks is $4 plus tax and is available at the Herald-Leader’s front lobby. By mail, it’s $6. Send check to: Lexington Herald-Leader, Attn: Cookbook, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, Ky. 40508.
BBQ Baron willing to tell all if you ask
Paul Kirk, the Kansas City Baron of Barbecue, has won seven world barbecue championships, written four cookbooks, and trained barbecue restaurant staffs all over the country — and he’ll tell you he’s still learning.
“I learn from other people,” said Kirk. He was in Lexington last weekend to teach a pitmaster class at Good Ol’ Days BBQ in Midway.
Kirk, who lives in Shawnee Mission, Kan. is the author of Chef Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue Sauces and co-author, with Ardie A. Davis, of America’s Best BBQ.
Almost everyone Kirk encounters is willing to share a tip or recipe for what works for them — or someone else. “A 10-year-old kid was watching me and said ‘my daddy does this.’”
The classes Kirk teaches are often attended by people who want to compete. “The only difference between back-yard and competition cooking are a timetable and presentation.
“At home you might plan to eat at 6, but it’s not ready until 6:30. In competition, you have a 10-minute window, and at 10 minutes and 1 second, you’re out,” Kirk said.
His rules for class participation: No outside seasonings (He provides the spices.); no foil (“That’s for pot roast. That’s not barbecue.”) and no sauces.
He teaches students how to make their own rubs with seasonings they like. “Some people think if a little works, more will work better. That’s not true. It’s a balance of salt and spices,” Kirk said.
“I can look at a recipe and change it to barbecue.
“I have a God-given ability to throw stuff together and it comes out good,” he said.
Kirk admits he doesn’t share all his secrets during pitmaster classes, but “if they ask, I’ll tell.”
For a list of classes, recipes and books, go to www.baron-of-bbq.com.
Blueberry Jubilee & Pancake Day is June 27
Reed Valley Orchard in Paris is having its annual Blueberry Jubilee & Pancake Day on Saturday.
Fresh blueberry pancakes will be served until 1 p.m., and there will be live music, line dancers and horse-drawn wagon rides. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call (859) 987-6480 or go to www.reedvalleyorchard.com. The farm is at 239 Lail Lane.