(Karen Conde Adler)
During early 1980s, was a cookbook representative for publishing companies; Pig Out Publications, Inc., Mission, KS, owner and president. Travels around the United States as a culinary instructor; has appeared on television programs, including for Better Homes & Garden TV and the Food Network; guest chef for national cooking competitions. Board member, National Barbecue Hall of Fame Museum.
International Association of Culinary Professionals, National Barbecue Association (former vice president and chair), Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association, BBQ Queens (founder), Les Dames d'Escoffier (former president of Kansas City chapter), Kansas City Barbecue Society.
Award for publishing Texas Barbecue and Pure Prairie-Farm Fresh & Wildly Delicious Food from the Prairie, 2000; Award of Excellence, National Barbecue Association; Masters of Barbecue and Doctor of Barbecue Philosophy honorary degree, Greasehouse University; winner of several "Battle of the Sexes Barbecue Contests."
(Editor and compiler, with Shifra Stein) Kansas City Cuisine: A Sampling of Restaurants & Their Recipes, Two Lane Press (Kansas City, MO), 1990.
(With Rick Welch and Carolyn Wells) Hooked on Fish on the Grill, Pig Out Publications (Kansas City, MO), 1992.
(With Bill Adler, Jr.) Baby-English: A Dictionary for Interpreting the Secret Language of Infants, illustrated by Bonnie Timmons, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.
(As Karen Conde Adler; with Jane Doyle Guthrie) A Kansas City Christmas Cookbook, Two Lane Press (Kansas City, MO), 1994.
(With Judith M. Fertig) Que Queens—Easy Grilling & Simple Smoking, Pig Out Publications (Mission, KS), 1997, reprinted as Easy Grilling & Simple Smoking with the BBQ Queens, 2001.
The Best Little Barbecue Cookbook, Celestial Arts (Berkeley, CA), 2000.
The Best Little BBQ Sauces Cookbook, Celestial Arts (Berkeley, CA), 2000.
The Best Little Grilling Cookbook, Celestial Arts (Berkeley, CA), 2000.
The Best Little Marinades Cookbook, Celestial Arts (Berkeley, CA), 2000.
(With Judith M. Fertig) Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked: 300 Foolproof Recipes for Everything from Amberjack to Whitefish, Plus Really Good Rubs, Marvelous Marinades, Sassy Sauces, and Sumptuous Sides, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2002.
(With Judith Fertig) The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbeque, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2005.
(With Judith Fertig) Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens: Making Meals Fast and Fabulous, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including St. Louis Post- Dispatch, Cooking Pleasures, Better Homes & Gardens, Saveur, Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, Country Home, Cooking Light, Midwest Living, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, Scooby Doo, and Great Grilling. Columnist, The BBQer, National Barbecue News, and On the Grill.
Karen Adler began her involvement with professional cooking and cookbook publishing as a representative for various publishers. After editing and collaborating on a number of cookbooks herself, she founded her own company, Pig Out Publications, Inc., and started specializing in barbecue recipes. A skilled chef, she entered competitions around the country and published her first book on grilling, Hooked on Fish on the Grill, in 1992. While promoting her book, she met Judith Fertig, who was also selling a similar work. A contributor to the Fiery Foods.com Web site related: "As Karen tells it, ‘Judith and I became friends in a very odd way.’ When they met in the 90s, they had competing restaurant recipe books, and were, to quote Karen, ‘prepared to dislike each other.’ But, against the odds, a friendship blossomed." Forming a partnership, Adler and Fertig became the self-styled "BBQ Queens" and have published several books together since then. In a tongue-in-cheek style, they sport glistening tiaras in the photographs in their books and often appear on television and at cooking competitions together wearing their queenly ornamentation.
Adler and Fertig's philosophy of grilling for family and friends is that it should be made as simple as possible, while also averring that grill chefs should offer a wide variety of dishes. Adler has said that the difference between men and women who cook on the grill is that men tend to work on perfecting a limited number of dishes over a long period of time, while women are more willing to experiment. The books she and Fertig offer readers therefore contain numerous recipes for main and side dishes, as well as instructions and tips on cooking using charcoal or different types of woods for smoking foods, and using various spice and herb rubs and marinades. The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbeque, for example, offers over 150 recipes for pork, fish, beef, and chicken, as well as helpful charts about various meats and cuts. A Publishers Weekly critic found some parts of the book "corny" when they related to the authors' "queenly" personas, such as a section on "how to wave like a queen." However, in other aspects the authors "compensate" with fresh material, such as "insights on the often overlooked technique of planking." In Library Journal, Judith Sutton similarly found passages in the book "a bit precious," but added that "the recipes are easy and appealing."
With Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens: Making Meals Fast and Fabulous, Adler and Fertig continue with their queenly tips and recipes for the woman who likes to grill. Sutton, again writing in Library Journal, repeated her complaint that the "tiara gimmick wears thin," but she still praised the "fresh, simple, and appealing" recipes the chefs offer. A Publishers Weekly appreciated the "many trendy ingredients" the authors freely add to their diverse menus.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, April 15, 2002, Judith Sutton, review of Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked: 300 Foolproof Recipes for Everything from Amberjackto Whitefish, Plus Really Good Rubs, Marvelous Marinades, Sassy Sauces, and Sumptuous Sides, p. 120; April 15, 2005, review of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue, p. 112; March 15, 2006, Judith Sutton, review of Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens: Making Meals Fast and Fabulous, p. 94.
Nation's Restaurant News, November 11, 2002, Michael Schrader, "Tomes Offer New Twists As Seafood Scales New Heights," review of Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked, p. 64.
Publishers Weekly, February 28, 2005, review of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue, p. 59; February 13, 2006, review of Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens, p. 82.
BBQ Queens Web site,http://www.bbqqueens.com (November 24, 2006), biography of Karen Adler.
Epicurean Online,http://www.epicurean.com/ (November 24, 2006), Claire Charlton, "Grill Friends Strut Their Stuff," review of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue.
Fiery Foods.com,http://www.fiery-foods.com/ (November 24, 2006), brief biography of and interview with Karen Adler.
Pig Out Publications Web site,http://www.pigoutpublications.com (November 24, 2006), biography of Karen Adler.
Self Publishing Hall of Fame Web site,http://www.selfpublishinghalloffame.com/ (November 24, 2006), biography of Karen Adler.