Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of barbecue across the United States. SFA filmmaker Joe York wrote this remembrance of pitmaster Ricky Parker after attending Parker's funeral on Wednesday, May 1, in Lexington, Tennessee.
They buried Ricky Parker yesterday. A few miles down the road from the cinder block pits where he cooked whole hogs for more than half his life, from the sliding glass window where he sold sandwiches, from the creosote-stained door where he hung the “SOLD OUT” sign every afternoon to let the latecomers know not to bother, they gathered to say they were sorry, to say goodbye, to say that they didn’t know what to say.
They dressed him as he dressed himself. In blue Dickies, a tan work shirt with a pack of Swisher Sweets peeking from the breast pocket, and his burgundy and brown ball cap resting on the ledge of coffin, he went to his reward. The only thing missing was his greasy apron. I imagine it hangs on a nail somewhere back by the pits where he left it.
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Jason Bond is the chef at Bondir in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter @jwadebond.
The day started with the Boston Marathon and a state holiday. It ended in tragedy and left residents, like me, with so many unanswered questions.
Why would someone attack an event that was about celebration, one where many of the thousands of participants were raising money for over two thousand charities? Why would they use such a ferocious method as bombs packed with ball bearings and nails?
In the span of 15 seconds, three people lost their lives. Hundreds of others, from the injured and their families to those who witnessed the blast firsthand, were cruelly ripped from the lives they'd always known and forced into a darker view of the world. The residents of Boston were shocked, sickened and even pissed off.
Most of us felt helpless, but wanted to be of use. The city and its people quickly mobilized to help each other. Boston is tight and takes care of its own.
We realized that we each help by doing what we do; medics medicate, journalists report, the police protect. As a restaurateur I did what I do, which is care for people and provide sustenance and healing.
Drew Robinson is the pitmaster at Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. He previously wrote about why barbecue matters. This post ran a while back, but it seemed worth surfacing today. See CNN's Impact Your World for ways to help the people of Boston.
My friend John Egerton told me once that sometimes when people have lost a loved one or are in despair all you can do is take them a bowl of potato salad and tell them you’re sorry.
He went on to say, emphatically, that there is great power in that sort of action. John spoke specifically about Southern foodways at that moment, but there was a universal truth in his message. I know from personal experience on the receiving end that is true and it is even more powerful when that compassion is delivered in numbers.
Read "Burning Passover's 'garbage of the soul'" at CNN Belief
Plenty of traditional foods pack an emotional whallop, but few of them back it up with a sensory punch as strong as horseradish's. The pungent root is a key part of a Passover Seder plate (along with salt water-dipped vegetables, a shank bone, a hard boiled egg, a sweet paste of apples and nuts called charoset, and a bitter vegetable - often lettuce) and symbolizes the harsh lives of the Israelites before they were delivered from slavery in Egypt.
Alessandra Bulow (@abulow on Twitter) is Food & Wine's associate digital editor.
If foraging for shamrocks and downing marshmallow-filled cereal endorsed by a cartoon leprechaun hasn’t brought you the luck of the Irish by now, then it may be time to rethink your strategy on St. Patrick’s Day. From traditional dishes like noodles that symbolize longevity to a simple ham sandwich, superstitious chefs share their picks for good fortune.
Americans who celebrate on New Year's Eve with a bottle of champagne, party hats and a kiss at midnight have an important lesson to learn from the rest of the world (and certain regions of this country): The arrival of the new year is meant for feasting.
As the new year arrives around the globe, special cakes and breads abound, as do long noodles (representing long life), field peas (representing coins), herring (representing abundance) and pigs (representing good luck). The particulars vary, but the general theme is the same: to sit down and share a meal with family and friends to usher in a year of prosperity.
Here are some of the common traditions around the world and a few hints about where to partake in them:
Poor Vinnie. That's not actually his name, because this wasn't his fault. Sadly, his real one is, in some quarters, synonymous with "That Kid Whose Parents Didn't Let Him Trick-Or-Treat."
In my 1980s suburban youth, in my neck of the woods, a certain level of sugar-charged entitlement overtook the last day of October. While no one was especially extravagant in their candy offerings (save for one or two houses on a well-to-do cul-de-sac giving out full-sized Hershey bars, and believe me, word got out) perceived stinginess was met with great public indignation.
If a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then what's true in love is true in business too. At least, it is in New York City.
With some of the most upscale eateries and trendy downtown diners in the world, where you decide to take a client for lunch can be just as vital as what you talk about between bites in the Big Apple.
Indeed, it's widely believed the term "power lunch" itself was first coined in a 1979 article by Lee Eisenberg, the then-editor-in-chief of Esquire Magazine, while writing about a new lunch scene that had popped-up in midtown Manhattan.
I poured myself a bourbon last night. Got into the good stuff, even – a 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve I'd been doling out in small drams for the past few years. After slogging through the flood of Osama bin Laden news from television and Twitter and shouts from the street, it seemed right to stop and mark the moment.
There are many ways to acknowledge a momentous occasion, and some have the benefit of ritual. Weddings have a Champagne toast, birthdays a cake, funerals have casseroles borne by well-meaning neighbors who may not have sufficient words, but can offer comfort by way of a turkey tettrazini.