Courtesy of Nike Communications
I have a Fourth of July confession. I am Southern enough that one of my top five foods is barbecue or anything grilled, but I am belle enough that I do not like to get behind the grill and have my hair and makeup ruined for the day. I will prepare the food, sauces, side dishes, and dessert, but when the first person offers to stand in the smoke, I quickly hand over my tongs. If you think grilling is a "guy's game" and there is always a man at the helm of the grill, well ... think again. While you are pondering that question, you might also think barbecue is just a Southern treasure.
Well, I am happy to report there are two chefs who are going to change your mind on these two topics and you will be glad they have. The two names you need to remember are Elizabeth Karmel and Steven Raichlen. They have made me think about picking up my grilling tongs again.
The not-so-demure Southern belle Elizabeth Karmel is driven to get more girls to the grill, and is becoming quite successful at it. This native North Carolinian has proven girls can grill. Chef Karmel is the executive chef at Hill Country, a New York Texas barbecue venue with live music, and she has several books under her belt. She has worked with winemaker Tom Mackey from St. Francis Winery and together they have created "The Girls' Guide to Grilling," downloadable at http://www.stfsavortheflavor.com (and it is free). Elizabeth really captures the essence and simplicity of the art of the American grill. I love her recipe for salt-crusted shrimp, and I think this Fourth of July I will pair it with Steven Raichlen's beef saté.