Fire up the Grills and Smokers! Kent “The Deck Chef” Whitaker has released his newest backyard cooking inspire book titled “Great American Grilling – The Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating Cookbook” just in time for Father’s Day.
Kent, former winner of the Emeril Live / Food Network Barbecue Contest, says that this book is the “funniest” culinary titles he’s ever released and that Great American Grilling is a combination of several of his passions.
“Great American Grilling combines food, fun, and history! I wanted it to be different from any cookbook about grilling and barbecue out there,” Whitaker said. “Everything from the recipes, the design, the pictures, graphics, to the tidbits of trivia I’ve included.”
The book steps away from traditional cookbooks by separating categories a bit differently. For instance -there’s a section dedicated solely to “Burgers!” It includes burgers made from beef, pork, poultry, veggies, and more. Another deals completely with different types of links served up on buns!
“There’s more than one way to make a burger,” Whitaker said with a smile. “Why put a veggie burger in the vegetable section? It deserves to be with the other burgers! And hot dogs, bratwurst, and smoked sausages deserve their own section! I’ve got info on everything from Grilled Chicago Dogs and Fenway Franks to my own Tennessee Pulled Pork Barbecue Covered Smoked Sausage!”
Each page of Great American Grilling includes vibrant colors, goofy graphics such as a jalapeno smiley face, mouth-watering food pictures, as well as interesting side bar information. Whitaker say’s this design was something he’d been thinking about for a while.
“When The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook was released – I realized that there was more info that I wanted to add,” stated Whitaker. “Each book in the series – Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, West Virginia, South Carolina, and then Alabama – got better and better. More festival info, more information about each state, fun stories from people that shared their recipes. That idea flowed over into Great American Grilling!”
Whitaker, an East Ridge Tennessee resident with his wife Ally and son Macee, says his love of history is a major ingredient in how the sidebar information was used. According to Kent he would work on a dish and start thinking about its origins. Soon he would have tons of pages and notes – including mental ones – all about one recipe or topic.
“I think the sidebar history information in Great American Grilling is unlike anything done in a cookbook,” Whitaker said. “Say I was working on a test recipe for a hamburger – suddenly I’m thinking about history – who invented the hamburger? Why is something named this, how many United States Presidents enjoyed grilling.”
The book also includes information about the history of several common grilling items including condiment packets, charcoal, and even who invented… the grill. There are also some traditional cookbook side-notes such as variations, suggestions, and grilling tips. A handy tool built into the book is that many recipes are marked “tailgate friendly” with a colorful logo.
“The food and recipes are by far the most important thing in the book,” Whitaker says while flipping through pages. “I wanted Great American Grilling to mimic the fun times and conversations my family and friends have had around the grill. Cookbooks don’t have to be boring – they can be funny, informative, a good read, and still packed with flavor!”
Great American Grilling includes 250 recipes ranging from grilled pound cake to grilled pizza, porterhouse steaks, perfect pork ribs, rubs, sauces, sides, and much more. They are all written in Kent’s conversational and easy-to-follow recipe style.
You can purchase signed copies online at www.thedeckchef.com . The book is currently rolling out to all major bookstore chains and their websites including Amazon and can also be purchased online via Kent’s publisher www.greatamericanpublishers.com . You can also order through your local book retailer with this information: Kent Whitaker • Great American Grilling • 288 pages • 7 x 10 • ISBN 978-1-934817-30-8