BBQ U: the ultimate gift for any Griller

What’s the ultimate gift for the outdoor cook in your life who has everything?  Give them a class at BBQ University with grilling guru, Steven Raichlen. It will engage and amaze even the most seasoned griller. I’ve been passionate about grilling for years. I wrote an award-winning cookbook, Grilling and Smoking with The Home Chef and I’ve been writing From the Backyard for National BBQ News for close to 10 years. I know grilling. I was invited to spend a day at BBQU with Raichlen last summer and I learned a lot. Not only does he know how to cook, he’s researched the history and culture behind each of the dishes he teaches.

BBQ U

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, photo Steve Collins

The only place you can take this three-day class is at the Five Star/Five Diamond The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The resort, nestled against the foothills of the Colorado Rockies affords beautiful views of the mountains beyond. It’s is a very special place. Bringing BBQ U here was pure genius.  It’s a summer camp for adults. When not in class, participants can take advantage of championship golf courses, tennis, a world-class spa and more.

The BBQ U class I attended had 55 participants including some who’d taken the class before. The classes are different from year to year. Some were on their own, some with friends and some with significant others. Others came with spouses who didn’t take the class. They get to enjoy the bounty The Broadmoor has to offer while their companions are in class.

BBQ U

Demonstrating how to French a prime rib roast, then stud with rosemary and garlic, photo/Steve Collins

Before the would-be chefs were turned loose to cook, Raichlen gave us an interesting history of each dish on the agenda and how it came to be. As he talked he demonstrated any techniques that might be needed to prepare the dish and then asked for volunteers to prepare it. Everyone in the class was always able to see and hear him via a state of the art audio/video system. They are pros here.

Reichlen is an ambitious, organized and energetic teacher. You can tell he loves his subject and he wants you to love it, too. Most enrollees already do or they probably wouldn’t be here. His enthusiasm was infectious and the students clearly are enthralled. He taught us how to prepare Pervuian Anticuchos (kabobs, usually cubes of beef heart, he used beef tenderloin); Thai Chicken Sticks with Cucumber Relish and Peanut Sauce; Piri-Piri Prawns, Grilled Pepper Salad with Currants, Capers and Feta; Korean Beef Tacos; Spiny Lobster with Cilantro and Lime Mango Salsa; Kansas City Ribs with Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce; Loaded Potatoes, and for dessert Grilled Angel Food Cake with Berry Salsa and Tequila Whipped Cream. Raichlen added a surprise dish to the already ambitious menu the class had received before hand: rotisserie prime rib. In addition, a Polish chef on The Broadmoor’s staff made a special Polish sausage for the class. Chef Raichlen challenged a team to come up with a preparation that would do it justice. They did!

BBQ U

Steven Raichlen getting the rotisserie spit ready for the prime rib, photo/Steve Collins

Each BBQ U team began prep indoors. When this was completed the group moved out to the large adjacent patio where wide-range of wood and gas-fired grills and smokers awaited. The range of equipment was like a toy store for grillers, including a special one made to Raichlen’s exacting specifications. Each team was assigned a grill or smoker appropriate for their dish . Raichlen circulated among the groups making suggestions and answering questions as needed. Everyone, including the instructor, seemed to be in enjoying themselves. When everything was cooked, the dishes were plated and the group adjourned inside to dine on the feast they’d created. Before digging in, the dishes were judged for presentation. It’s always a treat to eat good food and a bigger one when you’ve cooked it yourself. Traveling companions may join the group for breakfast ($18) and lunch ($45) if they wish. After lunch, the schedule allows for free time for the rest of the day so students can enjoy the resort or explore the area.

BBQ U

A hardwood fire ready for the Korean beef, photo/Steve Collins

Steven Raichlen is a force of nature. He has a degree in French Literature, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study medieval cooking in Europe and one to study literature. He’s taken cooking classes at Cordon Bleu and La Varenne, both in Paris. He traveled over 200,00 miles over a four year period learning about grilling and BBQ around the world. The result was his widely popular Barbecue Bible. It’s sold over 10 million copies since 1988. He’s written over 28 books and can be seen on the popular PBS shows Barbecue University and Primal Grill.

For years, Raichlen has been the go to guy for people wanting to know everything from what equipment to use to how to get the best results for their favorite grilling and BBQ dishes to specialties from all over the globe. Now he’s turned to fiction. His latest writing venture is Island Apart: A love story set on Martha’s Vinyard.  Raichlen knows the area well. He’s spent his summers there for years.

BBQ U

Steven Raichlen with Billie and Steve aka Santa Fe Travelers, photo/ courtesy The Broadmoor

If you are interested in giving the gift of BBQ U or attending yourself, there are two 2013, sessions: June 5th through June 8th, 2013 and June 9th through June 12th, 2013.  Reserve early, BBQ U fills up. Here’s compete information on the BBQ U experience at the Broadmoor.

Enjoy the thrill of the grill!

Order Island Apart    Order BBQ Bible 

         

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