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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.
Roger Mooking is hanging out with two chefs putting a whole new spin on rotisserie cooking in the great outdoors. At Spring House restaurant in Alexander City, Alabama, Chef Rob McDaniel has designed a fire-fueled contraption that he and Roger use to roast succulent legs of lamb. In Charleston, South Carolina, Craig Deihl is the chef and owner of Cypress, a restaurant famous for wood-fired food. Craig also likes playing with fire outside the kitchen, and he's created a backyard-friendly rotisserie that can roast whole strings of ducks and chickens.
Roger Mooking is in Florida fanning the flames for something savory and something sweet. Roger heads to Hamaknockers Bar-B-Que in Crawfordville, where a young pitmaster pulls pork with a power tool! Roger comes face-to-face with their signature sandwich, the Hamaburger. In Dade City, Roger meets Steve Melton, a farmer preserving the tradition of making cane syrup in a gigantic 100 year-old kettle over an open fire.
Roger Mooking meets two talented chefs who own two spectacular outdoor cooking rigs. In Miami, Florida, Chef Aaron Brooks celebrates Latin flavors with his unique coal-fueled contraption called the Cross Table. Roger and Aaron roast butterflied pork and simmer seafood paella. In Birmingham, Alabama, Roger visits Chef Chris Hastings at his restaurant OvenBird. The restaurant is known for its wood-fired kitchen, but Chris's fascination for fire led him to create a one-of-a-kind portable oven. Roger and Chris cook up a meat lover's feast along with the season's best vegetables.
Roger Mooking is in pig paradise, cooking up two whole hogs in two different styles. In New Orleans, Roger visits MOPHO restaurant where Chef Michael Gulotta's Southeast Asian spit-roasted pig is a twist on a classic Southern tradition. In Mississippi, Chef Miles McMath hinges two steel troughs together to make a convenient and quick-cooking oven. Roger and Miles slow-cook a whole hog in this unique rig, and fry hand pies for dessert over an open flame.
Chef Roger Mooking meets with two Southern ladies famous in the barbecue world. In Nashville, Roger has eyes only for the smoked ribs at Mary's Old Fashioned Pit Bar-B-Que. At Helen's Bar-B-Q in Brownsville, Tenn., Roger meets legendary pit master Helen Turner and help her cook pork shoulders, pork ribs and a whole stick of bologna.
In North Bend, Ore., Chef Roger Mooking meets up with Don Ivy, Chief of the Coquille Tribe. Roger and Don roast a school of salmon for a traditional tribal feast. In Los Angeles, Roger visits Andy Ricker, chef/owner of Pok Pok La, who shares the secrets to his famous whole roasted chicken.
Chef Roger Mooking goes to Llano Seco Ranch in Chico, Calif., where he and Charlie Thieriot slow roast a 30-pound porchetta. In Sandy, Ore., Roger meets caterers Jaret Foster and Mona Johnson, and assists them in putting together roasted mussels and a crowd-pleasing white bean, chorizo and clam stew.
Chef Roger Mooking is spending the day at Jacobsen Salt Co., in Netarts Bay, Ore., one of the largest producers of handcrafted sea salt in America. Owner Ben Jacobsen takes Roger on a tour of the facility, showing him how to smoke sea salt, and then Roger meets with Portland-based chef Carlo Lamagna. Roger helps Carlo stuff a 20-pound halibut with lemon and herbs, encrust the whole fish in salt and roast it over a wood-burning fire.
Chef Roger Mooking sees that everything is bigger in Texas, first meeting Pit Master Levi Goode at Armadillo Palace in Houston. On Levi's custom rotisserie trailer, they roast a 250-pound side of beef. Then at Cured restaurant in San Antonio, Roger and chef/owner Steve McHugh slow-roast a 230-pound hog in a large outdoor cinder block pit.
Chef Roger Mooking is on the lookout for some truly unique rigs. In Colorado, Roger meets Josh Pollack, owner of Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen in Denver, who created an eight-foot steel contraption that can cook up to 1,000 pounds of food. Roger then goes to 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas, where Jason Schimmels shows off their impressive barbecue trailer, but also introduces Roger to their unique 10-foot "tripod grills" where huge rib eye roasts are cooked in rotating metal cages.
In Buffalo Gap, Texas, Roger Mooking meets Tom Perini at his restaurant, Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Roger is put to work lighting up burn barrels for the metal pits, then dessert is baked in a coal-covered cast iron Dutch oven. At Pitchfork Fondue Western Cookout in Pinedale, Wyo., owner Matt David invites Roger to his outdoor kitchen where steaks are skewered onto pitchforks and deep-fried in giant cauldrons.
Roger Mooking is in Michigan and Wisconsin for the ultimate meat fest in the Midwest. In Lake Geneva, Wis., Roger meets Dimitri Anagnos, who runs Popeye's, a Greek restaurant with a monster rotisserie. Roger and Dimitri load up several hundred pounds of lamb and pork over the hot coals, which are used for unique sandwiches. Then in Omena, Mich., Roger visits Epicure Catering to meet owner Andy Schudlich. Roger helps Andy load up with pit with enough coals in order to slow roast three porchettas, which are served with a grilled ratatouille.
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