Follow the Smoke
6" x 9", 256 pages
130 color illustrations / 35 recipes
Food & Wine / Regional: South / Non-Fiction
Like the cowboys of the old Chisholm or Goodnight-Loving trails, veteran food writer John DeMers gazed at the highway ahead and settled in for a long, long ride. More than 14,000 miles later - all of them in Texas - DeMers has eaten in hundreds of barbecue joints. The 119 places featured in Follow the Smoke range from very plain (a shack with an ordering window) to slightly fancy, from Port Arthur to Amarillo, McAllen to Texarkana, Austin to El Paso. The one thing they all share is a commitment to do the work and put in the time - 18 to 22 hours, in some cases - to produce meat that's ever so smoky, tender and juicy. So pull on your boots and loosen your belt buckle: JOHN DEMERS is about to take you out for the ride, and the meal, of your life. Follow the Smoke is enhanced with 35 recipes for barbecue meats, rubs, sauces, favorite fixin's and desserts.
For several years, John DeMers served as editor of Texas Foodlover magazine. Today he lives in Houston and concentrates on his weekly food and wine radio show, Delicious Mischief. A longtime reporter and editor for United Press International, John has written from 136 foreign countries. This is his 37th published book.
"Part travel guide, part recipe book...You'll find plenty of secrets" – San Antonio Express News
"After a gut-busting tour of seemingly every mom-and-pop barbecue joint in the state of Texas, veteran author DeMers has produced a definitive state guide to independent ‘cuers, divided by region (east, north, central, etc.). Since it's Texas, beef brisket features prominently, though methods of preparation (dry rub, choice of wood, time on the smoker, etc.) vary intriguingly. Choice menu items and contact information are provided, but DeMer's focus is on the characters who make it happen: Eric Hilliard and the Hackleman brothers of Smokey Joe's in Nash believe the Lord Himself wanted them to enter the business; trained chef Wayne Anderson ditched 30 years of country-wide kitchen work for a battered baseball hat and a barbecue pit in Marble Falls; and WWII veteran Vencil Mares, proprietor of the Taylor Café for over 50 years, who has trained no successor to keep Texans in his brisket, named one of the 20 best dishes in America by USA Today. A handful of recipes round out this thorough travel guide; readers on the trail of Texas culinary gold should find it as indispensable as a map. Color photos." – Publisher's Weekly
"You will find plenty of mouth-watering suggestions in the 250 pages of this book." – Abilene Reporter News
"A new book on Texas barbecue serves up a heaping platter of Tarrant County dining spots... North Texas is well represented in this book." – Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"He takes more of a storyteller's role... sketching slices of life to savor rather than adopting the role of standard reviewer."
"An excellent guide for your own rib-fueled road trip...just spread out a map and connect the dots." – Fiery Foods & BBQ magazine
" [John DeMers] takes readers table-and pit-side to restaurants around the state.The paperback easily fits into the glove compartment for handy road reference." – Southern Living Magazine, January 2009