Man Fire Food features the inventive ways people cook with fire. From small campfires to creative custom-made grills and smokers, we visit home cooks, pit masters and chefs who are fascinated by fire and food. The smoke signals take host Roger Mooking to Hawaii, wine country in Northern California, New England and the great American South to meet the passionate people who celebrate the building of and cooking over live fire.
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Red-Hot Roasts 10x06
Roger Mooking visits two caterers in the South who specialize in live-fire cookouts. He starts in Chattanooga, Tenn., where Argentine grillmaster Mariano Cebrian has an incredible collection of portable rigs to create live-fire events through his catering operation, Panoram Asados. When he's off the clock, Mariano and his wife, Angelina, light up these creative rigs in their backyard and cook traditional Argentine meals for their family and friends. Roger and Mariano fire up the parilla, a large outdoor hearth, to roast whole cabbages and carrots and char steak empanadas. Large slabs of beef short ribs are attached to metal crosses to slowly cook over a bed of fiery hot coals. In Columbia, S.C., Roger meets Chef Kristian Niemi, who prepares farm-to-table feasts through Honey River Catering. Together they create two cooking stations out of a cinder block pit for a Southern-style surf-and-turf spread. They season and stuff a boneless whole hog with ground pork sausage, sweet peppers, fennel, cranberries and a medley of spices and aromatics to create porchetta that cooks low and slow over coals. On the side, they roast and steam a bounty of oysters with pecan wood smoke thanks to Krisitan's custom-made plancha.
BBQ for Breakfast 10x05
Roger Mooking visits two Texas pitmasters who give breakfast a wake-up call by adding barbecue. Reid Guess' custom-built rigs and smoked meats are on full display at Guess Family Barbecue in Waco, Texas. Reid and Roger fire up a 1,000-gallon offset smoker and fill it with seasoned pork butts and tri-tip steaks. They pull the pork, add it to fluffy pancakes and top with whiskey butter and maple syrup. The steak is seared on hot coals, dressed with chimichurri sauce and served with fried eggs. Then Roger heads to Derek Allan's Texas Barbecue in Fort Worth, Texas, for the signature Brisket Kolaches. Helming the unique upright smokers is Derek Crudgington, an IT systems engineer and self-taught pitmaster. Derek and Roger smoke wagyu beef brisket and stuff the melt-in-your-mouth meat inside soft, pillowy dough with cheese and hashbrowns. They also smoke housemade wagyu beef sausages made from a blend of chuck and brisket and serve the legendary links in breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs, cheese and salsa.
Hawaiian Heat and Texas Meat 10x04
Roger Mooking heads to the Aloha State, where Chef Lee Anne Wong fires up a custom-made stainless steel unit with local kiawe wood and prepares a tropical feast of beer-can chicken, slow-roasted fruits and vegetables and fresh mahi-mahi fillets wrapped in banana leaves. In Bellaire, Texas, Roger steps into the smoke at Blood Bros. BBQ, where brothers Robin and Terry Wong and their childhood friend Quy Hoang cook up classic Texas 'cue mixed with global flavors. Roger and Quy season and smoke brisket flaps and then cube, sauce and slow-cook the meat for addictive Brisket Burnt Ends. They stuff the delectable nuggets inside soft bao buns with strips of cucumber, scallions and pickled jicama. Smoked St. Louis-style pork ribs are slathered with a sweet-and-spicy Thai peanut butter glaze and finished with a sprinkling of hot chilies.
Taste of Texas 10x03
Smoke signals lead Roger Mooking to two popular food trucks in Texas serving up delicious ethnic eats. In Grapevine, Texas, Roger meets pitmaster Trey Sanchez of Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q, who's known for combining authentic Texas-style barbecue with Mexican dishes. Roger and Trey season and smoke briskets for Birria Tacos and prep Cowboy Potatoes for a pop-up with hungry locals at Hop and Sting Brewing Co. The chopped brisket is served in griddled corn tortillas with melted cheese, onions and cilantro, plus beef consomme for dipping. The smoked potatoes are diced and sauteed with onions, bell peppers and salsa in a metal disco set over hot coals, and both dishes are served with Trey's signature fiery, smoky salsas. In Austin, Texas, Justin and Lakana Trubiana park their food truck DEE DEE at Radio Coffee and Beer and serve authentic northeastern Thai dishes inspired by Lakana's family recipes. Roger and Justin light coals and preheat a massive, custom-built rotisserie that can cook up to 36 whole chickens that have been brined and rubbed with a flavorful paste of Thai aromatics and seasonings to create Gai Yang. As the succulent chickens spin and cook for two hours, Roger and Lakana grill Moo Ping, thinly sliced pork marinated in a top-secret family recipe and cooked on wooden skewers. Both dishes are served with Thai sticky rice and sauces that are both sweet and spicy.
Florida Heat 10x02
Roger Mooking cruises the Florida coastline for two fiery cookouts that bring the heat. First, he visits Chef Marcel Vizcarra, owner of modern Peruvian eatery Llama Restaurant in St. Augustine, Fla., to check out an ancient, Peruvian-style pit roast called pachamanca. Marcel invites Roger to his home, and they fire up his custom-built, above-ground pit for tubers, fava beans, lamb, chicken and pork all rubbed down with a flavorful marinade and layered in with plantain leaves. Marcel and Roger also prepare Peruvian arapaima fish fillets by wrapping them in plantain leaves and grilling them over an open fire. Roger then heads to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Georgia Pig BBQ, a legendary old-school, open-pit barbecue restaurant that has been around since 1953. The star of the menu is smoked meat cooked in the dining room's pit, and owner and pitmaster Luke Moorman shows Roger the dish that earned them rave reviews: a Bar-B-Q Chopped Pork Sandwich doused in a delicious mustard barbecue sauce.
Southern Sizzle and Smoke 10x01
Roger Mooking makes two pit stops in the South for a little sizzle and a lot of smoke. He starts at Comfort Farms in Milledgeville, Ga., a nonprofit organization where retired veteran Jon Jackson helps fellow vets adjust to civilian life by teaching them how to farm, raise animals and cook. Jon often hosts cookouts to thank and feed his community, and Roger joins him to cook a whole mutton seasoned with garlicky rosemary paste and slow-roast cauliflower, broccoli, beets and onions. Roger then heads to Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q in Bessemer, Ala., for classic, open brick-pit barbecue. He learns the tricks of the trade from seasoned pitmaster Van Sykes, who has been stoking coals since he was 8 years old. They season 250 pounds of picnic pork with salt and load it into a 15-foot pit heated with hickory wood. The pork is then sliced, topped with just enough vinegar-based barbecue sauce and sandwiched inside a toasted bun with sliced pickles.
Backyard BBQ Blowouts 09x13
Roger Mooking drops in at two backyard cookouts where the smoke is thick and the fires are hot. He helps guest chef Jeremy Connor prepare a fish roast at renowned bed and breakfast Maison Madeleine in Breaux Bridge, La. They spear marinated whole red fish and pompano on sugar cane poles and arrange them around fire pits. In Bakersfield, Calif., Roger joins pitmaster Fred Reclusado in his outdoor kitchen to make ribs al pastor and fry tilapia.
Lighting Up Louisiana 09x12
Roger Mooking is in Louisiana, where smoked meat makes an appearance in many classic Cajun dishes. He meets Chef Nathanial Zimet, who serves North Carolina-style smoked whole hog in po' boy sandwiches at Bourree in New Orleans. Roger helps Nathanial season and smoke a whole hog, and they also prepare Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings. At Paul's Meat Market and Grocery in Ville Platte, La., Roger helps owner Paul Fontenot fill his outdoor smokehouse with several different kinds of sausages, tasso, pork belly, turkey wings and drumsticks. Paul also shares a family recipe for Cajun Brown Gravy.
Fiery Couples 09x11
From live-fire cooking to low-and-slow barbecue, Roger Mooking meets up with two couples making fiery feasts and creating sparks in California. He starts with Danny and Nicoletta Herlihy, whose company Do or Dine Catering specializes in Mediterranean farm-to-table feasts cooked with a live fire. Roger helps them hang legs of lamb and cook vegetables on a large, hot plancha for an event at an olive oil company. Then Roger meets up with Matt and Nina Horn of Horn Barbecue, an underground craft barbecue business with Southern influences. Roger helps pitmaster Matt season and smoke lamb shoulders for sandwiches that are served with a side of Nina's Pit Beans.
BBQ and Boils in the Bayou 09x10
Roger Mooking visits the Louisiana bayou for barbecue, brunch and a crawfish boil. In Prairieville, La., he helps a husband-and-wife team of caterers prepare baby back ribs, brisket and 200 pounds of live crawfish. Then Roger heads to Baton Rouge, La., to meet a caterer serving barbecue breakfast sandwiches at a local eatery. They season pork butts and beef cheeks for smoking and then pile the meat onto biscuits with fried eggs, cheese and bacon.