Steven Raichlen

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Author and personality Steven Raichlen, holding a plate of beef ribs during a Barbecue University session.

Steven Raichlen (born March 11, 1953, in Nagoya, Japan[1][2]) is an American culinary writer, TV host, and most recently novelist.

Early life[edit]

Steven Raichlen was born in Nagoya, Japan and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, US.[3] He graduated in 1975 from Reed College with a Bachelor of Arts in French literature.[4] He received a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship to study medieval cooking in Europe, and was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to study comparative literature. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris.[5]


Since 1998, Raichlen's books have focused on the culture and practice of global grilling. His 31 books include The Barbecue Bible (1998, revised in 2008), How to Grill (2001), BBQ USA, Healthy Latin Cooking, Project Smoke and Project Fire. His books have been translated into 17 languages. Raichlen also wrote Planet Barbecue!, the story of his travels to more than 50 countries in search of the best barbecue, published by Workman Publishing in 2010.[6]

Raichlen has written for The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit and Esquire magazines.[4]

Raichlen has been known to further careers of barbecue pitmasters thanks to his writing, including Wayne Mark Schafer, of Baltimore's Pit Beef fame Big Fat Daddy's, who was featured in Raichlen's NY Times article and 425 Fiery Recipes book.[7]

In 2012, he released his first novel, Island Apart, about a Chappaquiddick hermit's developing relationship with a cancer patient.[8]

Television career[edit]

Raichlen created the TV show Barbecue University (aka BBQ U), which aired for four seasons from 2003 to 2006 on American Public Television. From 2008 to 2010 he hosted Primal Grill, again on American Public Television. Primal Grill focused on the "how-tos" of live fire cooking, employing different grills for each technique. In 2015, he created Project Smoke on public television, focusing on traditional and cutting-edge techniques in smoked food.[9] and more recently Steven Raichlen's Project Fire. Raichlen also hosts the French-language TV shows Le Maitre du Grill and Les Incontourables du BBQ on Zeste in Quebec. His Steven Raichlen Grills Italy show was launched on Gambero Rosso Channel in Italy in 2018.

He battled and defeated Iron Chef Rokusaburo Michiba in a "Battle of the Barbecue Gods" on Japanese television.

He has appeared on numerous television programs and networks including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Discovery Channel, Oprah, Regis & Kelly, The View and CNN.[4][5]

Other work[edit]

Raichlen is the founder of Barbecue University, which offers three-day intensive courses on live fire cooking at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs.[10]

Awards and honors[edit]

Steven Raichlen has won five James Beard awards for his cookbooks. High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking won the 1993 award for Best Light and Healthy Cookbook, and his follow-up, High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking, won the 1996 award for Best Vegetarian Cookbook.[5] In 1999, Healthy Latin Cooking won the award for Healthy Focus.[citation needed] He also earned the 2001 James Beard Foundation/KitchenAid Book Award for his Healthy Jewish Cooking[5][11] His 780-page book, BBQ USA, won the 2004 award for Tools and Techniques.[12]

In 2016 Steven Raichlen was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame. In 2003, Bon Appetit named Raichlen “Cooking Teacher of the Year," the same year that The Barbecue Bible, based on his four years of research while traveling 150,000 miles through 25 countries on five continents, won an IACP Julia Child Award.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Raichlen lives with his wife, Barbara, in Coconut Grove, Florida[13] and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.[8]





  1. ^ "Steven Raichlen". Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA: 425 fiery recipes from all across America limited preview on Google Books
  3. ^ Sullivan, Kate. License to Grill,, 5/8/2008, retrieved 9/21/2008
  4. ^ a b c Barbecue Bible
  5. ^ a b c d e Star Chefs
  6. ^ Barber, Cathy (18 May 2010). "Steven Raichlen's 'Planet Barbecue!' reveals the fascinating world of the grill". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  7. ^ New York Times Article Featuring Big Fat Daddy's
  8. ^ a b Larsen, Peter (June 20, 2012). "BBQ expert Steven Raichlen brings first novel to O.C." Orange County Register. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke". WGBY-TV. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  10. ^ Barbecue Bible Web Site
  11. ^ James Beard Archived 2007-08-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "About Steven Raichlen". Barbeque University. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]