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Q&A  •  3 March 2023


One of the world’s top barbecue chefs shares his favourite food memory

We caught up with Aaron Franklin, author of ‘Franklin Smoke’ and the man behind the restaurant, Franklin Barbecue in Texas. Learn about his ultimate comfort food cooking hacks and more.

What ingredient/s do you enjoy cooking with the most? 

I lean toward foods that carry a certain kind of nostalgia for me. It's fun for me to work out a Sunday pork roast like my grandparents made or gumbo and etouffee that my grandfather made.

What is your ultimate comfort food? 

Pot roast (chuck roast) cooked for 6-8 hours with brown gravy made from the braising liquid and mashed potatoes.

What utensils do you use the most? 

Knives, a fish spatula, tongs and a have a good wooden cutting board on my kitchen counter at all times.

If you could choose your last meal, what would it be? 

I'd start with a rye whiskey cocktail, Caesar salad, and shrimp cocktail with a seafood tower, followed by a dry-aged T-bone steak and a fully loaded baked potato (and more whiskey). 

What are five essential ingredients you always have on hand? 

Grapeseed oil or high temp oil, kosher salt, crunchy finishing salt, rice wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, lemons.

What is your most commonly used ingredient? 

Salt. I don't really use many spices in my cooking, but I do use a good bit of salt. 

What is your favourite food memory? 

Eating ice cream in Paris outside the Notre Dame cathedral.

What is the best way to elevate an ordinary meal? 

More acid and more salt to balance the flavours. 

What is the one life-changing cooking hack you were taught? 

Pour a small amount of water on top of guacamole in an airtight container. This helps form a barrier to the air and keeps it from browning.


Are you a fan? Check out all of Aaron's cookbooks here

Feature Title

Franklin Smoke
The ultimate guide to live-fire grilling and smoking at home, with recipes that will have you cooking up meat, vegetables, fish, and more like a true Texas fire wrangler—from the James Beard Award–winning team behind the New York Times bestseller Franklin Barbecue.
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