Most of you know Ray Lampe as Dr. BBQ, not Dr. Recipe. That is a very apt name. Either from the fact that he doesn’t own a shirt without flames on it or that he’s been making a good living in BBQ for decades. Honestly, he’s what most of us hard core grill maniacs want to be, gainfully employed doing this crazy obsession we do for free. And while his BBQ skills are top notch, and I know first hand having eaten some of his amazing creations a few years ago at an event here in St. Louis, what really blows me away about Dr. BBQ is the fact that he is working on his 8th cook book (grill book). Eight!? Which means he’s published seven already. SEVEN! I don’t know of anyone that prolific with recipe creation centered on our beloved grill.
I have often thought about writing a cook book, but I don’t have a couple hundred spare recipes outside what I put on this website. For Dr. Recipe, I mean Dr. BBQ, he can come up with that many during a long weekend at the lake and a few adult libations. Here at GrillinFools.com, we like to add a recipe a week. Ray Lampe can add a recipe an hour the way that man processes ingredients and cooking methods.
When he crafts his recipes, Dr. BBQ doesn’t take someone else’s idea, change one ingredient and call it his own. The guy comes up with amazing stuff somehow out of his cerebral mass under that flat top and behind that distinctive goatee, as if there was some divine intervention. In the interview below, he talks about it being a gift from God. Actually, he downplays the supernatural in his explanation of how he comes up with his recipes, but honestly, I can’t think of a better way to describe the doctor’s gift.
Don’t believe me? Check out a few of his books which include Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue, Ribs, Chops, Steaks and Wings, as well as my favorite, the NFL Gameday Cookbook. To collaborate with the NFL is a dream of mine that will never happen. For Ray Lampe, he’s been there, done that! His latest offering tackles one of the most difficult cuts of meat to grill – the pork chop. Grilling pork chops to perfection is hard to do for a lot of us. Ray shows how to do it dozens upon dozens of times with a wide variety of ingredients. Check out his latest book – Pork Chop: 60 Recipes for Living High on the Hog.
Dad and I met Mr. Lampe a few years ago and Dad bought his NFL cookbook and got it signed by the doctor himself. It was great to watch Mr. Lampe work, fantistic to chat with him later, and even better to taste his wares. While grilling he’s focused like any master and not all that engaged with people wanting to talk, but that’s understandable. He’s a slave to the craft and when he’s enthralled with the process and has to stay in that moment. Once he was out of the moment, he was an absolute blast to chat with. So much so we featured his Peachy Sweet Spare Ribs on the site not long after.
If you ever get a chance to meet one of the icons of modern BBQ like Ray Lampe, you make it a point to pick his brain. That’s what I did in this interview. Click below and give it a listen:
If you are interested, here are my other celebrity foodie interviews including Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone, Moe Cason, and Wolfgang Puck.