Susan Dickenson -- Casual Living, March 8, 2012
Writer and gourmand extraordinaire jim harrison once described himself in his esquire food column as "a multiple entrée kind of a guy." His book editor at Knopf, Gary Fisketjon, confirmed the description over lunch one day at one of midtown Manhattan's myriad meaty restaurants. "When I take Jim to lunch, it's an all-day affair," said Fisketjon, who seemed to speak for all of us swept up in a torrid romance with food when he added, "and probably the best affair I've ever had."
Like Harrison's editor, I can invoke memories of sublime meals much more quickly than I can summon the details of far lengthier romances. Daydreams of dinners long gone float like love letters through my consciousness. So please forgive me if I have trouble containing my enthusiasm for the cornucopia of good cooking that awaits at Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo 2012.
Certainly I'm interested in the grills, gadgets, outdoor furniture and products on display. (I'm a firm believer that grills are the heart of the outdoor room and an integral part of the casual lifestyle.) But as a former food writer and wannabe chef, I'm especially excited about the Outdoor Burn Area Exhibits where all of those fancy grills get put to the test. The kickoff is the HPBExpo Tailgate & Big Green Egg Celebrity Chef Cook-Off where local and national talent serve up savory samples. During the cook-off , we will present the first Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award, sponsored by HPBA and Casual Living. The award honors Myers posthumously this year for her long-time barbecue advocacy.
Myers' lifelong love affair with food - and in particular, the world of barbecue - is legendary. (At one time, she was said to have more than 30 grills in her backyard.) She advised manufacturers, authored cookbooks, judged cook-off s around the globe, and was a media go-to for quotes on all things barbecue. Within these pages alone, her monthly column that ran from 2007 almost until her untimely passing was a must-read for both manufacturers and retailers in the field. "The rich barbecue culture that exists today in the USA is her living legacy," said Mike Kempster Sr., VP and CMO, Weber-Stephen Products.
Myers was old school, but everyone is food-obsessed these days. If you doubt me just turn on the Food Network or even take a look at Pantone's Fashion Color Report for fall 2012. Colors like French Roast, Honey Gold, Pink Flambé, Tangerine Tango and Rose Smoke make up the palette but could just as easily appeal to the palate.
You can certainly bet you'll be seeing more of Pantone's culinary inspired colorways on outdoor furniture this year. (Even the Napoleon Gourmet Grills' spatula I'm holding is shown in Tangerine Tango!) I know that I am personally obsessed with Pink Flambé, so come spring you'll probably find me plopped on a sea of it in the backyard, and rest assured, there will be something sizzling away on the grill. Bon appétit!