My dad was one of those guys that built cookers so he could feed a lot of people. We had a set of cookers for chickens that required
2 people using 2 grills to turn all the chickens at one time. I was turning and mopping chickens and tending to smokers by the time I was in 5th grade.
My mom always surprised me with how she could take ordinary and make it look 'fancy'. Putting basic ingredients together in a special way that made me feel special,
just because I was getting to eat this great looking food.
Growing up in rural southern Indiana, my family always had a vegetable garden and my mom grew some herbs. Fresh food filled our table with flavors. I am stilled excited when I see the bright yellow of corn on the cob and bright red of fresh from the vine tomatoes on a table with BBQ.
With BBQ sauce in my veins, I attended and completed BBQ judging school for Kansas City and Memphis BBQ.
I have judged several sanctioned BBQ contests and even judged Memphis in May one year.
I have not met a style of food that I do not like. I like spices, love a little heat and hae a sweet tooth that I cannot hide.
I have a wine education
equivilant to about 4th grade. I know a little, but there is lot more I want to learn. Friends have introduced me to great wines from all over the world, so I
am a bit of a wine snob, but I am learning that the pricetag or the label do not make the wine and the magic is finding the experience you want in the glass for
as few pennies as possible. I prefer dark beer to lite beer and I believe an Appletini is not a Martini but a good Martini can be exciting in its simpleness.
This project is exciting for me for several reasons. I look forward to sampling what southern Illinois has to offer and finding places
and food and drink that I might never have found. I hope we help expose these places to others looking for good food right here at home. I really hope this project puts more patrons
in more seats in eataries across southern Illinois so we can support those creating these great snack, meals, desserts and drinks so they will continue doing what they
do best. Let's Face It, I love food.