Ray's Comments

The comments on this web page are how I feel about things.  Sometimes you might like what I have to say and sometime you might disagree with me.   The picture on the right is me and if you look close you might be able to see that I'm cooking outdoors and I have a glass of beer next to the cooker.  That was me six years ago.  I cooked out a lot and drank a lot of beer back then.

I will be submitting my comments here from time to time.  I have no real schedule planned at this this time. If you want to comment about what I have written please email me at ray@rbjb.com.  I will publish some of your comments on this web page.  So don't email me anything you don't want made public.  Your comments can include not only what I write here but anything you want to say about any of my web pages. Please give your name, city and state that you live in.

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No. 2, 2001 

The Grand Barbecue

by  Doug Worgul

You can purchase the book and video from KCBS

This is a first for me.  I have never written a book review in my life but I feel compelled to do so now.  I first heard about this book in the Kansas City Star's "Star Magazine" that came out June 3, 2001.  There was an article in it called "Pioneers of Q" by Doug Worgul.  It was really interesting.  I saved this article because I wanted to talk to Doug about doing a piece for the new edition of The Kansas City Bar B Q Connection web page.  This was one of my first web pages and it is grossly out of date and I have finally started the new edition.  Then a couple of days later I was talking to Carolyn Wells of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and she was praising this book.  So a few days ago I got my copy of the book and the companion video. 

When I opened the package and saw the book for the first time I was disappointed.  I really didn't like the cover and I thought the book should be thicker.  Now I am sure a lot of people will love the cover.  However, in my case, I really shouldn't judge a book by it cover.  Once I opened up the book I knew that my first impression was wrong and there was plenty of content there.  After reading the book it has become one of my prized possessions.  The book is printed beautifully and loaded with some great pictures.  The content of this book is well organized.  It takes you from the early beginnings of BBQ to BBQ today.  The journey is fun and very interesting.  

You will find many names mentioned that will instantly be familiar to the people who frequent the BBQ Forum.  I was impressed by the list of names listed in the acknowledgments that the author says: "without whose reporting, hard work and dedication I could not have completed this book." These are big names in BBQ he mentions and he even gave a special thanks to Fast Eddy for his lead on the "Smoky" Joe Armato story and more.  So I knew the author had done his homework. 

This is a must buy for anyone really interested in BBQ.  Sure the book is about Kansas City Barbecue, but it's more that that, its about barbecue.  Anyone in any part of the country should enjoy owning and reading this book. 

I guarantee you one thing the book will make you hungry.  The pictures and information about a lot of the restaurants in Kansas City will get to you.  If you are from Kansas City you will be proud and hungry.  If you live somewhere other than Kansas City you will be hungry and want to go there.

Review by Ray Basso


Cooking Barbecue Kansas City Style
the video companion to the Kansas City Star Book
"The Grand Barbecue"
By Doug Worgul


This Video is very interesting.  It's billed as: "This video will show you how to get that great KC taste right in your own back yard."  Featured in the video you will find  Jeff Stehney and Charlie Podrebarac.  If you are new to BBQ you will really enjoy this video.  If you have been around for a while you might pick up some tips.  I found a couple of ideas I have never heard of watching the video.  If you have ever thought about making video yourself you should buy this one and study it.   

The video is really well put together.  It's clear that the video was made by professionals that know what they are doing.  I enjoyed watching it and I will watch it again in the future.  The information for the most part is basic but good.  It would make a great gift for your collection or to give someone else.  It would be great for someone who is new to real BBQ. 

There was one scene in this video, that I have not recovered from, after watching it.  Jeff Stehney, who is a great cook, does something I still twitch about when I think of it.  Jeff is such a good cook that every time I am in the neighborhood of his restaurant I have to stop in and buy some chicken or his great pulled pork sandwich.  In this video he starts the fires in the smokers with charcoal starter fluid.  He says it's OK and has done it many times. 

My neighbors on either side of me start their charcoal with starter fluid.  I can smell that stuff burning all the time they are cooking.  After watching the video I think I can smell that stuff burning right now. 

Review by Ray Basso

Ray Basso

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Past Comments from Ray:

My BYC - My Grandfather and his watch