If you happen to visit the Smithsonian Museum of American History, you’ll find an exhibit on a uniquely American institution: the backyard barbecue.
And if you happen to tour that backyard barbecue exhibit, you will see, next to James Beard’s Complete Book of Barbecue & Rotisserie Cooking (published in 1954), and the Sunset Barbecue Cook Book (1958), a book near and dear to my heart: The Barbecue! Bible, written by yours truly and published by Workman Publishing in 1998.
What started as a relatively modest book—1 year, 10 countries, 100 recipes—became an editorial monster. By the time I turned in the manuscript 4 years later, I had traveled more than 150,000 miles on 6 continents, and my modest 100 recipes grew into a 500+ recipe, 556-page behemoth.
As I look back on The Barbecue! Bible, I see not only how much it changed my grilling, but the world’s.
It’s been an amazing ride, my friends, and in addition to thanking Workman Publishing and my incredible wife, Barbara, I’d like to thank you, dear readers, for making this amazing career in live fire cooking possible. So here’s a solemn promise: I’ll keep writing books to help all of us take our barbecuing and grilling to the next level for as long as I can.