Kirk, Paul 1941-
KIRK, Paul 1941-
PERSONAL: Born 1941; married; wife's name Jennifer; children: three.
ADDRESSES: Home—Shawnee Mission, KS. Agent—c/o Author Mail, The Harvard Common Press, 535 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118.
CAREER: Restaurant chef; competitive barbecuer, 1980—; cooking instructor; writer. School of Pitmasters, traveling course, owner/instructor, 1990—; barbecue instructor at various restaurants, including Disney World's Wilderness Lodge. Official spokesperson for National Football League's National Tailgate Training Table Program; member of Julia Child's BBQ Team of Ten, 1998 and 2000; conducts seminars at various national conventions.
AWARDS, HONORS: Champion, American Royal Open; champion, Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue; champion, American Royal International Invitational; winner of the World Brisket Championship; champion, Great Pork BarbeQlossal; winner of more than 400 barbecue awards, including seven world championships.
Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces: 175 Make-Your-Own Sauces, Marinades, Dry Rubs, Wet Rubs, Mops, and Salsas, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 1998.
Smoke It! Over Eighty Succulent Recipes to Revolutionize Your Cooking, Courage Books (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.
The Big Grill, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Bob Lyon) Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: BBQ Your Way to Greatness with 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue, Harvard Common Press (Boston, MA), 2004.
Also contributor to Fine Cooking, Chili Pepper, and National Barbecue News.
SIDELIGHTS: Paul Kirk has been referred to as "the Barbecue Guru, Master of the Grill, Ambassador of Barbecue, Certified Master Judge, Yoda of the BBQ Pit, Headmaster of the School of Pitmasters, and more," as Jennifer Wolcott reported in the Christian Science Monitor. But the one name that has stuck is "Barbecue Baron." Many regard Kirk as the world's best barbecue cook, and he has won more than 400 awards at barbecue competitions all over the country—quite a feat, in a country where the picture of Dad at the grill is almost as iconic as Mom serving apple pie, and every summer is filled with weekend barbecuers who consider themselves pretty good "pitmasters."
In Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: BBQ Your Way to Greatness with 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue the master shows weekend dilettantes how to transform themselves into extraordinary outdoor cooks. While some guides, including a previous book by Kirk, focus primarily on particular sauces, Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue emphasizes the quality of the cut of meat used by the cook, the proper use of seasonings, and the importance of slow cooking. As for sauces, marinades, mops, rubs, and other concoctions, Kirk highly recommends mixing your own, and he provides help in doing so, as well as advice in choosing the proper type for beef, chicken, lamb, goat, or fish. He also includes recipes for potato salad and other vegetable accompaniments, as well as notes on the crucial differences among smoking, barbecuing, and grilling. "And for those eager to test their barbecue prowess in public," noted Booklist contributor Mark Knoblauch, "Kirk and his coauthor offer advice based on Kirk's own experience of how to win barbecue contests."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2004, Mark Knoblauch, review of Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: BBQ YourWay to Greatness with 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue, p. 1414.
Chicago Sun-Times, July 14, 2004, Molly Gordy, "In Joyful Quest of the 'Real' Barbecue That America Loves," p. 11.
Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 2004, Jennifer Wolcott, "The Barbecue Baron Shares Some of His Secrets," p. 15.
Library Journal, April 15, 2004, Judith Sutton, review of Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue, p. 119.
Newsweek, August 5, 2002, Eric Messinger, "There's Always a Rub," p. 62.
California BBQ Association Web site, http://www.cbbqa.com/ (February 26, 2002), "Paul Kirk—Baron of Barbecue."*