I’ll be the first to admit that seeing a Frenchman’s name atop a book on barbecue and grilling gave me pause. The French seem much too sophisticated to be munching on wings, ribs, and other grub cooked on
the grill or in the smoker. But Stéphane Reynaud’s Barbecue & Grill (Lyons Press) had me rethinking my prejudice, especially after looking at the illustration of a little piggy hopping across the cover. How could I not be charmed?
The text is admittedly sparse (there isn’t much of a “story” that infuses the book) but that allows you to focus on the food. To its advantage, the “show, don’t tell” approach comes into play with its minimal text and there’s plenty of food porn to ogle (I’m looking at you, Aged Comte Brochettes and Pork Chop with Herbs). The list of ingredients is never too long, and the directions are simply stated. There are a spectrum of recipes to try: Massaman Lamb on skewers, Razor Clams with Tarragon Butter, homemade sausages, Apple with Almond Cream. You probably couldn’t have asked for a more elegant grilling and bbq cookbook. And to boot, the whimsical illustrations lighten the subject matter, especially in the “Bloopers & DIY Barbecue” chapter: “I cook under a tree, it’s guano sauce for lunch.” Heh.