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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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.
Get Your Grill On 09x09
Roger Mooking is in Lockhart, Texas, to meet the team responsible for designing and crafting a monster rig that offers seven different cooking contraptions. Brothers Matt and Caleb Johnson create smokers for chefs and pitmasters across the country through their company Mill Scale Metalworks. They collaborated with local chef Arturo Ramon II of Blanco River Meat Co. on an impressive rig, and Roger helps Arturo roast whole young goats on asado crosses, hang sweet tea-brined Cornish hens and steam whole red snappers stuffed with aromatics.
Smoking and Spit-Roasting in Texas 09x08
Roger is in Austin and helps Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden pitmaster Ted Prater season a whole hog and smoke it for 10 hours for Carolina-style sandwiches; Roger and Pieter Sypesteyn stuff a wild hog.
Beef and Beyond 09x07
Beef is king in Texas, and Roger Mooking visits two pitmasters who are elevating traditional smoked meats with exciting global flavors. In Pearland, Texas, he helps Ronnie Killen season and smoke brisket and beef ribs to serve at Killen's Barbecue. Customers can order the smoked meats by the pound, but Ronnie also combines them in a Tex-Mex dish, Short Rib Tamales with Brisket Chili. Then Roger heads to Houston, Texas, to hang with Khoi Barbecue co-owner Don Nguyen, who holds Central Texas-inspired, Asian-influenced barbecue pop-ups using a 500-gallon smoker in his backyard. Roger helps him prepare Brisket Pho and Beef Rib Nigiri for a pop-up happening at Baileson Brewing Co.
Raising the Heat 09x06
Roger Mooking visits the Lone Star State, where they're taking open-fire cooking to new culinary heights with unique rigs. In Fort Worth, Texas, chef and restaurateur Lou Lambert invites Roger to his ranch to slow-roast whole hogs over oak coals in a massive, custom-built metal rig. Dessert is a sweet treat inspired by Lou's chuck wagon cooking days -- pear and blackberry cobbler crisps baked in Dutch ovens using hot coals from burn barrels. Then Roger heads south to Houston, Texas, to meet up with Eight Row Flint's chef Marcelo Garcia, who gets customers fired up for the Trompo Wagon parked out back. Roger helps him load ten vertical spits with marinated pork butts and chicken thighs to spin slowly next to a triple tier of fire, smoke and heat. While the wheels are turning and the fires are burning, Roger and Marcelo make corn tortillas for tacos.
Meat in Full Swing 09x05