The interview required a quick trip to Rome (twist Steven’s arm).
Steven’s command of the Italian language is limited, so here are the
questions he thinks he was asked and he answered:
A: Why this fascination with barbecue?
S: It’s the world’s oldest cooking method–you could really say our
early hominid ancestors made the leap from animal to humankind over a
A: Why is barbecue so popular?
S: Because it’s done in virtually every country, and virtually every
country has its own unique style of grilling.
A: What’s the difference between barbecue and grilling?
S: True barbecue is done indirectly, at a relatively low
temperature, in the presence of a lot of wood smoke. Grilling is a
hotter, quicker method of cooking, done at a higher temperature,
directly over the fire.
A: How does live fire cooking differ in Italy and the U.S.?
S: Italians prize simplicity above all else in their grilling.
Most dishes are seasoned solely with salt and perhaps a drizzle of
olive oil. In the U.S., we aim for complex layers of
flavor. One single rack of ribs might be seasoned with a dozen
spice rub, a mop sauce, a glaze, and a barbecue. And of course, a
pungent whiff of wood smoke.
So what dish did the Gambero Rosso chef prepared to illustrate
Steven’s book? Grilled pineapple with coconut milk.