OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/9/13) -- Wes Berry, author of “KY BBQ,” started off his discussion at Daviess County Public Library with a solid warning: “This is gonna make you hungry”.
It was true. Berry showed 250 photos from his tour on the Barbeque Trail in Kentucky. Currently, he has visited 272 barbeque joints, both mom and pop and chain vendors.
Berry, not only an author, but also a graduate advisor at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, is originally from Barron County. He is a self-professed “foodie” and said he’s been “obsessed his whole life”.
“I’m an English teacher--yes, I read literature, it pays my mortgage--but I also read cookbooks,” Berry said.
Growing up in Southern Kentucky, Berry knew his way around the barbeque pit and in 2009, he took his love of smoke-slathered mutton to the road to visit the country’s best barbeque restaurants. The book started as a comprehensive travel guide, but now, Berry calls it a book of “cultural anthropology”.
Berry said that barbeque has been gaining public attention lately with the help of Food Network shows. Texas, Memphis, TN., Kansas City, MO., and North Carolina get the most attention for their barbeque, but Berry said that Kentucky barbeque is among the best around. He’s sent books to as far away as England, for “misplaced Kentuckians”.
“They want a taste of home,” Berry said.
The most frequently asked question Berry gets when discussing his book is: Do you have a favorite barbeque restaurant? To this, Berry says no.
“Ultimately I like it all,” Berry said.
He does however rate Owensboro barbeque joints like Ole Hickory as “knock your socks off” barbeque.
“Owensboro is a great barbeque town,” Berry said.
Berry’s book can be purchased online at: www.amazon.com.
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