Tim wrote a
book. It won
a James Beard
It can teach
you to smoke
cook a whole
pig, or pickle
Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
PHILOSOPHY I believe in blooming where you’re planted. It’s all about making this connection with people. It allows you to kind of reach out of your circle, relying on their resources and talents, as well as your own, to create something exciting and overall bigger than yourself. Food is the vehicle for this message. Smoke: New Firewood Cooking is my story. How can I help someone else to find their own food inspired voice? Maybe you come see me at the restaurant and I give you a plate of food and beer. I may be consulting for your vision, connecting you to new ideas, it’s one of my recipes that you make your own and becomes a new family tradition, or advice for a blog. That’s gonna help me to continue to express my vision. We are here to do our part and fit in where we are needed; so this bloom where you’re planted thing means being in service to the community in order to make something great and exciting, then going out and sharing it.
Fire is my inspiration. It compasses it all: community, commonwealth, hospitality. The common thread in American food is wood fire cooking. As a kid, I remember crowding around a campfire, and being sucked into the idea of jamming a hot dog on the end of a stick and
poking it into the fire. This grilling and barbecuing and smoking – all the original, traditional American food styles are cooked over fire. The lobster bakes in New England, smoked salmon in the Pacific Northwest or barbequed brisket in Texas. America’s food is literally a big melting pot.
“For Glory gives herself to those who have always dreamed of her.” Charles de Gaulle
Well, I dream of glorious shit dude! I dream of a lifestyle that allows me to be true to myself. Raising hell from scratch, crazy cookouts, big fires. Anything is possible. Cooking on another continent, bringing the heat! I also dream of stripping things back, getting to the basics of what is. Life is a celebration of what’s going on right here right now. It can be real, rustic, gritty and it can be yours. That’s a really liberating thing for me. To be able to do something that’s highly inspired and crazy detailed plop in the center of an old picnic table with 20 friends in the back yard. You don’t have to take yourself so seriously. I think that a heart-felt community table crosses boundaries of economics and race and class. Life is a grand spontaneous adventure, and to witness someone’s story in action is true glory.
— Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible cookbook series and host of Primal Grill on PBS
— Stephan Pyles, chef and author, Dallas, Texas
— The Pitmaster Ed Mitchell, Wilson, North Carolina
— Brandy Spencer, Assistant Extraordinaire
Smoke is a primer on the most time-tested culinary technique of all-cooking with wood and fire. Chef Tim Byres shows how to imbue all kinds of foods-not just meat-with the irresistible flavor of smoke. He gives innovative ideas for ways to use smoke in your everyday kitchen arsenal of flavors-such as making salsas with charred peppers, grilling fish with wood planks, and using smoke-cured meats to add layers to a dish. For the adventurous, there are how-to sections on building your own firepit, smokehouse, and upright roaster.
As a Texan, Byres draws on the regional traditions of Mexico, Louisiana, and the South. He takes down-home foods and gives them brilliant twists. The results are gutsy recipes like Pork Jowl Bacon with Half-Sour Cucumber Salad, Boudin Balls and Brick Roux Gumbo, Smoked Cabrito and Fresh Masa Pies, Hominy and Turnip Green Salad, and Oyster Dirty Fried Rice. Everything is made from scratch-not just the sausages but also the rubs and relishes. This is cooking at its most primal, and delicious.