I grew up in southern Illinois and was attending Southern Illinois University about the same time that Mike Mills was opening his first restaurant, 17th St. BBQ, in Murphysboro, IL. My roommate and I would occasionally make the trip to Lake Egypt to eat BBQ at a place that we liked, but we were totally unaware of the happenings less than 10 miles away from campus.
Mike Mills is an author, a restaurateur, a Memphis in May Champion, and is referred to as The Legend in BBQ circles. This book, Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue, is his perspective on the culture of BBQ.
Peace, Love, and Barbecue isn’t an autobiography, though it tells Mike’s story from his viewpoint. It’s not merely a cookbook, though it’s chocked full of awesome recipes from some of the best BBQ’ers in the country. It’s not an instructional guide, but there are lots of tips and recommendations throughout the book. It’s not a travel guide, but you could use it to locate the best BBQ joints in the country. This book is all of those things and more.
For every beer you drink, throw on about 6 lumps of charcoal or one small stick of wood – Mike Mills
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, hearing from the who’s who in the BBQ world, perusing the recipes and planning my next BBQ experiment, and getting a deeper look at the culture around one of the most uniquely American foods, BBQ. This is a must read for anyone who cooks as a hobby, aspires to cook competitively, or simply enjoys good BBQ.
So here’s wishing you Peace, Love, and BBQ!