Backyard BBQ

Visit our new website at!Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology Description:

BACKYARD BBQ The Art of Smokology is in it’s Fourth Printing This book covers all the barbecue basics of Backyard Smoking, as taught in Chef McPeake’s barbecue classes. Hence the name: The Art of Smokology. From starting your fire, to buying, selecting, trimming and smoking meats. Also chapters covering terms, rub making, sauce making, brining and the proper procedures for smoking seafood.
Plus some of his favorite recipes like: Hell Fire Brisket , Sweet & Spicy Cherry Ribs, Duck Pastrami, Oriental Smoked Porkloin, Twice Smoked Pulled Pork, Take Your Breath BBQ Sauce, Passion BBQ Sauce, Mustard & Pepper Spiced Beef Tenderloin, Honey Maple Brine for Salmon, Honey Marinated Lobster Tails, Coconut Curried Scallops, Margarita Mop for Chicken,
Nawlins’ Butter Mop, Warm Jalapeno Corn Relish, Gazpacho Salsa, Zesty Backyard Baked Beans, Wisconsin Cheddar Potato Salad Jambalaya Rice
…………and much more! No stone is left unturn in this book

available in Kitchenology at The Culinary Center of Kansas City

Key Ingredient

Visit our new website at!

Meet Larry Hadley, a special “Key Ingredient” at The Culinary Center”. He is better known as “BBQ Dude”. You will see Larry at almost every BBQ event at CCKC and he is usually “on the line” during Staff Lunch. Larry is also one of our “Kitchen Shrinks” which means he always has his shingle out for BBQ/grilling/smoking questions. Send your questions anytime. This is one special guy.

After taking several classes at the CCKC several years ago, and then becoming a volunteer, I had the opportunity to come on board and work with this great team.  My background and culinary love is the art of smoking and grilling, with a lot of TLC thrown in. Though I’m known around the CCKC as the “bbqdude”, I feel privileged to be able to continually broaden my skills by working  along side the Executive Chef, who shares his passion and talent for cooking.

I serve as Contest Representative and Certified Master Judge for the Kansas City BBQ Society. I have also had the opportunity to cook with and be a member of an award winning KCBS Competition BBQ team. This enables me to gain more expertise in the wide field of what BBQ should be at its best.

One of my biggest & most rewarding culinary adventures has been serving as Crew Chef for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance for several trail building projects. This is high altitude cooking at its best! With my wife Sharon assisting, we cooked meals at 10,000ft for groups of 30 on propane stoves in a cook’s tent, using battery lamps. This is where it’s 32 degrees in July at 5AM and the coffee is on!

Key Ingredient

Visit our new website at!Diana Miller Cooper has been an instructor at The Culinary Center since 2005. She had previously owned and operated a cake and candy shop in Mission, Kansas where she taught classes and baked and decorated hundreds and hundreds of cakes!

Although her area of expertise lies in cakes, cookies and chocolates, she loves to teach savory classes as well as many of our kids classes. One of her very favorite classes (which she developed the concept for) is our “So You Want to Be the Next Foodie TV Star” class for our Junior Chef Academy program. Kids ages 9 to 14 not only get to experience a hands-on cooking class, but also work in teams to write, produce and star in a short “food-television-inspired” cooking show!

Another favorite class of Diana’s is her Cinnamon Roll Critters class in which an adult/child team work together to make cinnamon rolls in the shape of, you guessed it … a critter! Great fun!

In addition to teaching, Diana wears other hats at The CCKC – she is a facilitator for our successful teambuilding program, develops new class concepts and assists in writing our newsletter. She also has the pleasure of meeting with potential new instructors and working with them to develop new classes … keeping our class schedule fresh and fun.

Diana is married to Patrick Cooper and they have two children, John and Sara.


Visit our new website at!Psst… Celebrity Chef,  Food Network Original, and our BFF Sara Moulton will be here on June 4th and 5th!! You have 3 chances!!  Master Classes on Friday evening June 4th and Saturday morning June 5th, and a Special Dinner Engagement on Saturday evening June 5th!  Don’t miss out! Get over to and register today!


Pro Series

Visit our new website at!Thanks Kim for your shout-out about your experience in the Pro Series. We have a new Professional Culinary Arts Series on the calendar beginning June 2.

Can’t control your inner foodie? Pro Series starts again in June!  Register now to reserve your spot.  This is a comprehensive hands-on nine week series modeled after traditional culinary school programs.  You’ll start with knife skills and move on to meats, seafood and vegetables.  From there you’ll cover different cooking methods – moist and dry heat cooking, including poaching and en papillote as well as searing, braising and grilling.  You’ll learn sauces – the basic “mother” sauces and small or “pan” sauces.  A sauce offers an opportunity to present a meal at a whole new level; you’ll learn to use sauces to make meals like a restaurant chef.  Graduation night includes a grand dinner, prepared by you, with guests of your choice.  We’ve had guests, including spouses, significant others, friends, parents, neighbors and co-workers, travel long distances to share the culmination of the Pro Series.

Pro Series is a great opportunity to gain confidence and build basic skills or hone your existing skills.  You will “wow” your friends and family with knowledge gained from this class.   This class leads to new menus, new techniques and new friends.  Perhaps this will be the start of a new dinner club.

The instructors are professional chefs with years of experience.  They will be able to answer your questions and offer the kind of information you will never find in a recipe.  The only way you can experience this kind of education, short of enrolling in a formal culinary arts program, is to reserve your spot in Pro Series today.  It’s only nine weeks, an experience of a lifetime and you know you’ll look good in chef’s coat!  What are you waiting for?

What is Green Sauce?

Visit our new website at!Green Sauces are common in Mexican and Mexican-American cuisines. The  basis of the green sauce (known as Salsa Verde) is typically pureed cooked or raw tomatillos, with chiles or jalapenos, white onion, cilantro and sometimes lime to taste. Salsa Verde can range in spiciness from mild to mouth-searing. It may be warm as in chile verde, or cold, as a condiment. In Mexican-American cuisine, a green sauce is frequently used as a dip for tortilla hips and served with tacos, grilled pork, grilled meats and even fish.

Green Sauce
1 quart water
12 whole tomatillos
1 medium clove garlic, whole
2 round tip jalapenos(vary according to preference for piquancy)
3 tablespoons, white onion, coursely chopped
3/4 cup cilantro leaves, with a bit of stem
Salt to taste

For the Garnish
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Bring the water to boil in a saucepan. Add tomatillos, garlic clove, t or more chiles and onion.Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes and remove from heat. Drain and reserve cooking water. Cool. Meanwhile, puree garlic clove to a molcajete or food processor, adding salt to taste. Add cilantro and blend Add tomatillo mixture. Add a little cooking water and blend. The sauce should have a slightly thick consistency. Correct seasonings. To serve, pour green sauce into a molcajete (or other cool dish) and garnish with onion and cilantro.

What’s a molcajete?

Molcajetes are used to crush and grind  spices,and prepare salsas, and guacamole. The rough surface of the basalt stone creates a superb grinding surface that maintains itself over time as tiny bubbles in the basalt are ground down, replenishing the textured surface. As the porous basalt is impossible to fully clean and sanitize, molcajetes are known to “season” (much like cast iron skillets), carrying over flavors from one preparation to another. Salsas and guacamole prepared in molcajetes are known to have a distinctive texture, and some also carry a subtle difference in flavor, from those prepared in blenders. Molcajetes can also be used as a cooking tool, where it is heated to a high temperature using an open fire or hot coals, and then used to heat its food contents. Although true molcajetes are made of basalt, imitations are sometimes made of a mixture of pressed concrete and volcanic rock particles.

Molcajetes are also used as serving dishes in restaurants and homes. While recipes are usually not stewed or otherwise cooked in them, the molcajete stays hot for an extremely long time, and it is not unusual for a dish to still be bubbling a half hour after serving.