Thursday, May 5, 2011

'Best in Smoke' Debuts May 8 on Food Network

Well, it looks like another BBQ show will soon hit the airwaves. Best in Smoke is a limited-run series that will premiere on Sunday, May 8, at 10pm EDT. There will be only four installments, and episodes 2, 3, and 4 will air at 9pm EDT, so set your DVRs accordingly.

From what I've been able to read, this show seems like it will be interesting, and it will feature some entertaining characters, including Dave Anderson, the founder of Famous Dave's BBQ. Did you know that Famous Dave is a Native American? That's right. Not only is he part Choctaw and Ojibwe, but also he was the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs from 2004 to 2005.

Now back to this upcoming BBQ show...

I've got my fingers crossed that overzealous producers haven't created a monster. That is, it would really bum me out if the show were to go over the top with hyper-unrealistic competitions. You could say that I'm not a big fan of any format that preposterously tests the real talent of the competitors by forcing them to perform ridiculous stunts. It's happened before, namely with TLC's BBQ Pitmasters.

I couldn't get enough of Season 1 of BBQ Pitmasters because it followed real teams as they worked their way around the competition circuit. I really liked peeking behind the scenes of the competitions and into the lives of the featured teams. But the format underwent significant changes in Season 2, and that sucked on toast for a couple of reasons.

The Season 2 host irritated me more than a foot fungus, and the format of the competition introduced too many elements that were either totally contrived or just plain silly. Oh, and one other complaint... they included Warren Sapp as a judge, which turned out to be a terrible idea because his food evaluation rationale was often way off base by BBQ standards.

I wish I could share a link to more official information about the show, but the Food Network web site doesn't have anything about this program except the following 30-second promo:

So, will I tune? Hell, yes! But even if I end up hating the show, there should be at least a few good BBQ moments to make it worth my time, especially if I can pick up a couple of cool tips and techniques. Keep the fires lit, y'all!

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