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Career path

Do you have burning questions that need to be answered? A live-fire dilemma that needs to be solved? There are no secrets between grill masters. So I give you “Ask Steven,” a new forum, where you can ask me anything about food and flame. Post your questions here, and I’ll respond as quickly as I can, though at times, because I’m traveling around Planet Barbecue (and you can ask me about these adventures too), it might take me a couple of days to reply.
Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:21 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7561
Location: Stoughton, WI
Steven, in your early years did you ever have thoughts about being a restaurateur? Or was it always your goal to be a writer and documenter? I watch a lot of cooking shows on PBS and hosts who aren't or weren't in the restaurant business seem to be a definite minority, so that got me wondering.

Post Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:06 pm
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 292

Great question. From the very beginning I always wanted to be a wordsmith. I have a classical French culinary training. (Learned to cook at the La Varenne cooking school in Paris, and I even cooked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Brittany.) But that was to give me a background for becoming a food writer. I know how to cook (and more importantly grill and smoke), but I'm definitely not a chef. Writer is what's on my passport and writing is how I make sense of the world.

The closest I ever got to the restaurant business was becoming restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. I reviewed restaurants in Boston and New England and then around the world for National Geographic Traveler. For one moment, I fantasized about opening a barbecue joint. Then my wife brought me to my senses. Besides, we already have one chef and one restaurant in the family. My stepson Jake owns Der Kommissar, an Austrian-style beer garden in Brooklyn. If you're in the area, stop by and say hi and try the smoked brisket bratwurst. It will leave you speechless.


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