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Raichlen, Steven 1953–

Raichlen, Steven 1953–

PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced "rike-lin"; born March 11, 1953, in Nagoya, Japan; son of Isador (a pharmacist) and Frances (a ballet dancer; maiden name Miller) Raichlen; married Barbara Seldin (a publicist), October 20, 1990. Education: Reed College, B.A.; trained at Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools, Paris, France. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Sailing, biking.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—1746 Espanola Dr., Miami, FL 33133. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Food writer and columnist. La Varenne, coordinator of North American program; A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School, worked as chef and instructor; Cooking in Paradise (school), St. Barthelemy, West Indies, founder; Barbecue University, White Sulfur Springs, WV, founder and principal of cooking school, 2000–. Member of American Institute of Food and Wine and James Beard Foundation; founder of Best of Barbecue, a line of grilling tools, fuels, and flavors. Host of Barbecue University with Steven Raichlen, a television series broadcast by Public Broadcasting System, beginning 2003; guest on other television shows, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, and CBS This Morning.

MEMBER: International Association of Culinary Professionals, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowship, 1975; award for best food column of the year, Association of Food Journalists, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, 1991; James Beard Award, best light and healthy cookbook, 1993, for Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking, best vegetarian cookbook, 1996, for Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, best healthy focus cookbook, 1999, for Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking, best healthy focus cookbook, 2001, for Healthy Jewish Cooking, and award for tools and technique, 2004, for BBQ USA; Julia Child Awards, International Association of Culinary Professionals, best regional American cookbook, 1994, for Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine, best single-subject cookbook, 1999, for The Barbecue Bible, and c. 2000, for How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques; critics choice award, San Francisco Chronicle, and cookbook award, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, both 1995, for Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking; "best of the best" citations, Food and Wine magazine, 1999, for The Barbecue Bible, and 2004, for BBQ USA; Gourmand World Cookbook Award, best book on cooking with wine, beer, or spirits, 2002; named barbecue guru extraordinaire, Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association, 2002; citation among best books of 2003, Esquire, 2003, for BBQ USA; American Food and Entertaining Award, cooking teacher of the year, Bon Appetit, 2003; endowment of Steven Raichlen scholarship for culinary excellence founded by South Beach Food and Wine Festival at Florida International University, 2004; Jacob's Creek Silver Ladle Award for How to Grill; also winner of cooking competitions.

WRITINGS:

Dining in—Boston, Peanut Butter Publishing (Seattle, WA), 1980.

(Editor) Luc Meyer, Left Bank Celebrity Cookbook, foreword by Gerald R. Ford, Peanut Butter Publishing (Seattle, WA), 1982.

Steven Raichlen's Guide to Boston Restaurants: Including Cape Cod, Suburbs, and Surrounding Areas, Lewis Publishing (Lexington, MA), 1983.

A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook, Poseidon (New York, NY), 1986.

A Celebration of the Seasons: A Cook's Almanac, Poseidon (New York, NY), 1988.

Boston's Best Restaurants: More than 100 Great Places to Eat in and around the Hub, Yankee Books (Dublin, NH), 1988.

(Editor, with others) The Best of Florida, Prentice Hall Travel (New York, NY), 1991.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking, photographs by Ken Winokur, Camden House (Charlotte, VT), 1992.

Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine, illustrated by Robin Zingone, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 1993.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.

The Caribbean Pantry Cookbook: Condiments and Seasonings from the Land of Spice and Sun, photographs by Martin Jacobs, Artisan (New York, NY), 1995.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Chicken, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Pasta, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Appetizers, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Desserts, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Italian Cooking, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

The Barbecue Bible, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 1998.

Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking: 200 Sizzling Recipes from Mexico, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil, and Beyond, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 1998.

Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Mexican Cooking, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 1999.

Healthy Jewish Cooking, photographs by Greg Schneider, Viking (New York, NY), 2000.

Barbecue Bible: Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes, illustrated by Ron Tanovitz, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 2000.

How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques, photographs by Greg Schneider, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.

Beer-Can Chicken: And Seventy-four Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill, illustrated by Jim Lambrenos, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All across America, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 2003.

Steven Raichlen's Big Flavor Cookbook: 445 Irresistible and Healthy Recipes from Around the World, photographs by Greg Schneider and Ken Winokur, Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers (New York, NY), 2003.

Raichlen's Indoor! Grilling: 270 Recipes Just for Grill Pans, Countertop Grills, Grilling Machines, Stovetop Grills, Rotisseries, and Fireplaces, photographs by Susan Goldman, illustrated by Ron Tanovitz, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.

Restaurant critic, Boston; columnist for Los Angeles Times Syndicate. Contributor to periodicals, including Esquire, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, National Geographic Traveler, and New York Times.

Raichlen's books have been published in French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, Hungarian, Finnish, Japanese, and Chinese.

SIDELIGHTS: Steven Raichlen is an award-winning journalist, teacher, and author. Raichlen was born in Japan, grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and has spent his life pursuing the knowledge of global cooking. In 1975 a Thomas J. Watson fellowship enabled Raichlen to spend eighteen months in Europe studying medieval cooking. He trained at the Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris. His syndicated column is carried by 100 newspapers and is read by 15-million people.

One of Raichlen's early cookbooks is A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook, which he wrote when he was a chef and instructor at the New Hampshire school. The book contains over fifty lessons in basic techniques and variations for both beginning and experienced cook, each culminating with a recipe applying the lesson. A Booklist reviewer noted that Raichlen marries French techniques and American ingredients, "with a dash of the Orient thrown in for good measure." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly added that Raichlen's "running notes on food history and lore are authoritative and interesting."

In A Celebration of the Seasons: A Cook's Almanac Raichlen takes the reader through each month of the year, describing the fresh foods and other fine recipe ingredients then available. His essays, which make associations to religious festivals and history, frame recipes that "reflect a simple American sensibility enhanced by classic European methods," in the opinion of a Booklist reviewer.

Raichlen, who lives in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, wrote Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine. The book contains Caribbean, Asian, Southern, and Jewish cuisine featuring ingredients such as tropical fruits and vegetables, and even alligator—a source for ordering this frozen meat is provided. "Raichlen's style is amiable and chatty, and procedures are detailed and sensitive," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

Raichlen also published a series of books that feature high-flavor, low-fat cooking. The first, Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking, earned a James Beard Award, as did his second, Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking.

A Publishers Weekly reviewer called Raichlen's The Caribbean Pantry Cookbook: Condiments, Seasonings, and Preserves from the Land of Spice and Sun "fiery, sweet, and diverse." The seventy recipes use sauces, condiments, sweets, spice rubs, and drinks; the recipes for Chili Lime Sauce, Fire Oil, and Sauce Chien are powered by Scotch Bonnet pepper, which has fifty times the heat of the jalapeno. Milder offerings include Ajilimojili, a Puerto Rican cilantro sauce; Mango Chutney; and a Cuban sofrito. Desserts include pies, gingerbread, and jellies.

In Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Italian Cooking, the chef tones down the richness of traditional high-fat Italian dishes containing ingredients such as cheese and olive oil. Raichlen uses some non-Italian ingredients and makes adjustments to traditional American macaroni and cheese by replacing part of the cheddar with low-fat cottage cheese. He reduces the fat in traditional Italian dishes, such as osso bucco and manicotti.

Raichlen collected more than 500 recipes during a twenty-five-country barbecue pilgrimage and presents this international collection as his best-seller, The Barbecue Bible. The book includes not only French grilled snails, Vietnamese shrimp, beef grilled Korean or Peruvian style, and Argentine veal and chicken, but also American favorites, such as pulled pork and the traditional hamburger. Salads and vegetables are suggested to accompany foods hot from the grill, including Sesame Spinach from Japan and A Different Greek Salad, the ingredients of which include dill and romaine lettuce. Raichlen covers cooking methods that include grilling, barbecuing, and smoking. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called The Barbecue Bible "a must-have collection for any home cook hoping to expand his or her grilling horizons."

In Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking: 200 Sizzling Recipes from Mexico, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil, and Beyond, which was also published in Spanish, the author makes substitutions for many of the traditional high-fat Latin recipes and uses alternative methods for cooking, especially fry baking over deep frying. In this method the food is lightly sprayed with oil, then baked, reducing fat and cholesterol substantially.

Raichlen once told CA: "I explore food as a window to culture. I n this age of increasing global homogenization, cooking is one of the last frontiers of individualism and one of the last ways cultures express their uniqueness. I use food as a way to understand history, community, and culture.

"I'm first and foremost a field reporter. I'm never quite so happy as when I'm at a market or the stall of a street vendor, in a private home or restaurant kitchen, tasting authentic local dishes or watching someone cook food that has deep personal or community meaning. I love the passion that great food brings out in people. I travel to taste local specialties and get a strong sense of place, then recreate them in my kitchen.

"My books begin in the field, traveling and eating. (My most important job is eating). My informants range from chefs to taxi cab drivers, from street vendors to CEOs. I chronicle my meals and food experiences in a series of small, spiral-bound notebooks. Once back home I'll begin recreating these dishes in my kitchen. Some recipes work right away. Others must be tried two, three, as many as a dozen times, until they taste right. When working on a low-fat book I develop and write all the recipes before sending them out for nutritional analysis. That keeps the emphasis on flavor for me: the numbers come at the end. When working on any book I try to explain the food in the context of the culture that created it.

"I've always been impassioned by food and eating. In 1975 I won a Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowship to study medieval cooking in Europe. For eighteen months I traveled across Europe, attending cooking school in Paris, visiting wineries, cheese and sausage-making facilities, studying medieval cookery manuscripts at the great libraries, and visiting monastery and castle kitchens. In some sense I've been studying food, culture, and history ever since.

"My food writing career has been varied, including a ten-year stint as a restaurant critic for Boston magazine. I've written many books on topics as diverse as global grilling, Caribbean spices and seasonings, Italian cooking, Mexican cooking, vegetarian cuisine, and healthy Latin cooking.

"With my writing I hope to: help people cook and eat better and thereby enjoy fuller, richer lives, introduce people to great food and ingredients from around the world, and broaden America's culinary horizons.

"My advice to aspiring writers is to first write something you love and know about. Then do scads of research. The more you learn about a subject, the better your writing will be. Develop thick calluses on your fingertips and your behind. Writing takes lots of practice. The more you do it, the better it gets. Writing a book is a feat of endurance. You have to sit in front of your computer for days, weeks, months, sometimes years. Develop the endurance and you'll write great books. Believe in your vision and see it through to the end. The people who spend three, five, ten years writing a book, making it as close to their vision as possible, usually produce the best books."

More recently Raichlen added: "Broadly speaking, my motivation for writing is to explore the interface of food and culture. Specifically I want to focus on the most ancient and widespread of the culinary arts—barbecue; to investigate how the practice of live-fire cooking varies around the world and what the differences in grilling techniques from country to country and region to region say about the cultures that engendered them. I also want to help people cook really great food on the grill.

"I'm influenced much more by general fiction and history than by particular writers about gastronomy. I do most of my reading in French, and my favorite authors include Zola, Max Gallo, and Michel Houllebeq. I spent a substantial part of the year traveling to do field research. It's the pit masters I meet on the world's barbecue trail who are the primary source of my content.

"In terms of research, much of my time is spent traveling that barbecue trail. My recipe development takes place at my cooking school, Barbecue University. In terms of the actual writing, I wake up early and try to write from six to nine o'clock in the morning, before the phones start ringing. I also do a lot of writing on airplanes—again, a refuge from phones, emails, and faxes.

"What inspires me to write about the subjects I have chosen? In a way, barbecue chose me. Several years ago I had what might best be called an epiphany—to travel the world's barbecue trail, investigating man's oldest and most popular method of cooking. I liken the moment to hearing a voice from heaven that bade me to 'follow the fire.' Barbecue turns out to be the perfect synthesis of all my interests: cooking, teaching, history, geography, language, social history, and, of course, great eating.

"I've moved more into book writing and away from journalism. The reasons are that I like the scope and mastery of a subject that book-writing affords. I also makes economic sense. You can only sell an article once or twice. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, a book can sell whether you're awake or asleep, for years, sometimes decades."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1986, review of A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook, p. 1172; May 15, 1988, review of A Celebration of the Seasons: A Cook's Almanac, p. 1564; December 1, 1993, Barbara Jacobs, review of Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine, p. 667; March 15, 1997, Barbara Jacobs, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Desserts and Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Appetizers, p. 1217; October 15, 1997, Mark Knoblauch, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Italian Cooking, p. 374; October 15, 1998, Mark Knoblauch, review of Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking: 200 Sizzling Recipes from Mexico, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil, and Beyond, p. 385.

Boston, April, 1986, Kate Broughton, review of A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook, p. 196.

Environmental Nutrition, December, 1998, "The Gift of Flavor," p. 8.

Gourmet Retailer, March, 2005, "Hot Grilling News," p. 110.

Health (San Francisco, CA), September, 1993, Susan Margolis, "High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking," p. 52.

HFN Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network, September 13, 2004, Thyra Porter, "Grill Expert, Company New Companions," p. 52.

House Beautiful, April, 1998, Jane Ellis, "Here's to Your Health," p. 132; June, 1998, Jane Ellis, "A Real Mixed Grill," p. 116.

Kliatt, March, 1995, p. 43; July, 1997, p. 35; September, 2003, Shirley Reis, review of Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All across America, p. 45; March, 2005, Paula Rohrlick, review of Raichlen's Indoor! Grilling: 270 Recipes Just for Grill Pans, Countertop Grills, Grilling Machines, Stovetop Grills, Rotisseries, and Fireplaces, p. 44.

Library Journal, April 15, 1986, Ruth Diebold, review of A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook, p. 81; May 15, 1988, Judith C. Sutton, review of A Celebration of the Seasons, p. 82; October 15, 1992, Judith C. Sutton, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking, p. 94; November 15 1993, Judith C. Sutton, review of Miami Spice, p. 95; March 15, 1995, Judith C. Sutton, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, p. 94; August, 1995, Judith C. Sutton, review of The Caribbean Pantry Cookbook: Condiments, Seasonings, and Preserves from the Land of Spice and Fun, p. 110; October 15, 1997, Judith C. Sutton, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Italian Cooking, p. 86; October 15, 1998, Judith C. Sutton, review of Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking, p. 92; September 15, 2000, Judith C. Sutton, review of Healthy Jewish Cooking, p. 109; April 15, 2002, Judith C. Sutton, review of Beer-Can Chicken: And Seventy-four Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill, p. 118; June 15, 2003, Judith C. Sutton, review of Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA, p. 95.

Miami Herald, May 26, 2005, Fred Tasker, "Grilling Guru Launches New Line of Barbecue Gear."

Mother Earth News, May, 1988, Carol Taylor, review of A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook, p. 90.

Nation's Restaurant News, May 17, 1993, p. 3; April 10, 1995, Michael Schrader, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, p. 58.

New Woman, February, 1998, Mimi Sheraton, "Foods that Only Taste Fattening," p. 100.

New Yorker, July 13, 1998, Doug Allen, review of The Barbecue Bible, p. 18.

New York Times Book Review, June 5, 1988, Florence Fabricant, review of A Celebration of the Seasons: A Cook's Almanac, p. 15; December 5, 1993, Richard Flaste, review of Miami Spice, p. 27; January 30, 1994; June 11, 1995, Richard Flaste, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, p. 11.

New York Times Magazine, June 28, 1998, Molly O'Neill, review of The Barbecue Bible, p. 49.

People, November 24, 1997, Michele Greene, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Italian Cooking, p. 35.

Publishers Weekly, October 18, 1985, review of A Taste of the Mountains Cooking School Cookbook, p. 58; November 1, 1993, review of Miami Spice, p. 75; February 13, 1995, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, p. 75; August 14, 1995, review of The Caribbean Pantry Cookbook, p. 80; June 15, 1998, review of The Barbecue Bible, p. 55; September 7, 1998, review of Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking, p. 89; September 18, 2000, review of Healthy Jewish Cooking, p. 107; April 16, 2001, review of How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques, p. 57; May 6, 2002, review of Beer-Can Chicken, p. 51; April 21, 2003, review of Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA, p. 56; November 8, 2004, review of Raichlen's Indoor! Grilling, p. 47.

Vegetarian Times, October, 1995, Diana Shaw, review of Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, p. 112.

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