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Buxton Hall Barbecue's Book of Smoke: Wood-Smoked Meat, Sides, and More Hardcover – October 1, 2016
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"The fire that burns in Elliott is contagious. He is my brother, my mentor, and a constant inspiration. The work it takes to get where he is now breaks most people, and Elliott is thriving. This book is pure love."- Nate Allen, chef/owner of Knife & Fork
"There is no substitute for the dedication and passion that Elliott pours into his smokers, which pump out some of the most creative and distinctive barbecue and side dishes available anywhere in the country. The fact that he is willing to share his techniques, secrets, and philosophy with the readers of this book is just the topping on the banana pudding pie. Mmmm . . . that pie!"- Chris Chamberlain, food, drink, and travel writer and author of The Southern Foodie's Guide to the Pig
"The hallowed tradition of BBQ is in a world of turmoil, but chefs like Elliott Moss, combining a respect for history with an innovative approach to flavor, will carry on this precious torch for the next generation. The BBQ hash alone is worth the drive to Asheville, no matter where you live."- Edward Lee, chef, author of Smoke and Pickles, TV Host
"Buxton Hall Barbecue's Book of Smoke respectfully and thoughtfully approaches smoke as an ingredient, and hardwood coals as a magically shapeable source of heat. [Moss's] focus on vegetable cookery and its relationship to coals and meat shines as brightly as his glistening and cherished whole hog. There's something for everyone to learn from in these pages, and my favorite takeaway may be the sense of community that Elliott and Team Buxton put into all of their endeavors, from the wild ride of opening and running a restaurant to the age-old practice of barbecue."- Ashley Christensen, chef/proprietor AC Restaurants
"Rife with authenticity and a genuine care for community, this book is an honest and open account of Moss's journey to opening Buxton Hall, filled with recipes that will soon be traditions in your own kitchen."- Keia Mastrianni, food writer
"Moss, the chef at Asheville, N.C.'s Buxton Hall Barbecue, shares his considerable knowledge on the craft of Carolina pit smoking, known for its delicate flavors and the use of freshly charcoaled wood rather than live fire.. .(the book) employs some 150 color photos to make sure that smoke gets in your eyes in pleasing ways, with close-ups of nearly all the eats."- Publishers Weekly
"It's great to see Elliott get back to his roots . . . [he] does such a great job using the whole hog to make creative, delicious barbecue."- Ryan Smith, chef/owner of Staplehouse
"Elliott's grandparents must be proud. Raised on chicken bog and whole-hog barbecue, the self-taught chef has carried that torch into the twenty-first century with a menu of wood-cooked meats and vegetable sides that taste like full-color updates to faded Southern classics. Now, he's bringing his cooking back home. These recipes are timeless. Read and learn."- Jed Portman, Garden & Gun
"Elliot's passion for food is equal to his passion for people. His attention to detail shows in every dish that comes out of his kitchen. He's a genuine, salt-of-the-earth guy who I feel privileged to call a friend."- Sam Jones, Skylight Inn BBQ and Sam Jones BBQ
About the Author
Elliott Moss has received national attention for his innovative cooking from the New York Times, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living, Southern Living, Bon Appetit, Garden & Gun, GQ, and other publications. He was nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast in 2013. He currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina, where he has been the head chef at celebrated restaurant The Admiral and pop-up restaurants such as Punk Wok and The Thunderbird. He is now the co-owner and head chef of Buxton Hall Barbecue.
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A chef's thrill ride is a series of emotional highs and lows, economic windfalls and abject poverty, succumbing to empty promises and outright lies and maybe, just maybe, one day they hit the big time.
What's the big time for these knife-slinging, saute line kings and queens?
Their OWN place.
Their own place allows them to explore culinary fantasy and flex often restrained skills. They command a three-ring circus of heat and flame that is at once exhilarating and systematically exhausting. We eat their food, marvel at their talent, and all the while it looks easy. They make the roller coaster look like a kiddie ride.
I was prepared to recount Buxton Hall Chef Elliott Moss' own wild ride as part of this cookbook review. Instead, buy the book -- and hear the story from his own pen. The talented pitmaster has smoke and vinegar-pepper sauce coursing through his veins -- even when he was knocking out award-winning eats at The Admiral and earning lavish praise from customers, critics and the distinguished James Beard Foundation.
He should have had a book deal then. He should have had a shot at his own remarkable kitchen then. He didn't. Instead, he jumped into the last car of the aforementioned roller coaster and tussled with financiers, emotions and ceaseless questions about his future.
Perseverance pays, the ride ends, the rewards come.
"Buxton Hall Barbecue's Book of Smoke: Wood-Smoked Meat, Sides, and More," is a solid affirmation of Moss' success and popularity. With a dependable business partner in Meherwan Irani, a successful restaurant, new found attention from Bon Appetit magazine, whose editors gushed over his fried chicken sandwich and name BHB as one of the nation's Top 10 new eateries, Moss is sitting pretty.
The 208 pages, part autobiography and mostly cookbook, captures the essence of the restaurant's menu. From Moss' signature vinegar-pepper sauce -- the foundation of his barbecue roots -- through Chicken Bog, smoked pork shoulder and ribs, this collection of recipes is in homage to the self-taught chef's passion for food, for breaking out of the usual barbecue shack recipe box.
Unlike many other barbecue joint books, Moss' presentation touches on old school pit cooking methods but its recipes sympathetically address less adventurous home cooks. The chef spends time explaining stovetop smokers and recipes are designed to be carried out indoors, without the need for an outdoor kitchen or coping with charcoal fires.
Moss devoted pages to props for key team members: sous chefs Sarah Cousler and Dan Silo and Pastry Chef Ashley Capps. He is quick to credit those closest to him for his success. No one is resting on laurels. In fact, newcomers to the skating rink turned dining room are often surprised that the smoke stained, bespectacled guy in the kitchen is Moss himself -- complete with a grease stained shirt and nursing splinters from handling a recent load of wood.
As for me, I have spent less than an hour with Moss ever. I have, however, enjoyed several hours with his food: Pulled pork, Brussels sprouts seasoned with pork drippings, Chicken Bog, and that miraculous fried chicken sandwich. I survey the dessert list on every visit, but can't face a break-up with Capp's legendary banana pudding pie -- the restaurant's homage to a 'cue joint staple.
The recipes are tried and true, easy to follow and execute. These are dishes that are honest, satisfying and rich with flavors. Moss has mastered an intuitive skill for crafting dishes that blow the minds of home cooks and can still inspire weekend pitmasters to explore their own paths. Photos are a pleasant mix of black-and-white and color. This is an effort Moss can be proud of completing. Gosh, I'm beaming with happiness for him, the restaurant and the Buxton crew.
Even if you've never smoked a pork shoulder, "Buxton Hall Barbecue's Book of Smoke: Wood-Smoked Meat, Sides, and More," will lay the foundation for you to approach smoked meats and a new repertoire of side dishes and desserts with confidence. It's a sure fire way to get a taste of one of Asheville's premiere restaurants without leaving your kitchen.