Saturday, March 26, 2005

Where was Barbecue Author Steve Raichlen?

Last Saturday (March 19), my son and I attended the grand opening of Barbeques Galore in Folsom, California. Earlier in the week, a short newspaper article had promised acclaimed barbecue author Steve Raichlen’s presence at the event.

I stopped by the new store, which is located at 2405 Iron Point Road, Suite 100, on Thursday afternoon after work. The clerk could only tell me that Raichlen would be at the store on Saturday. I pressed him for information. Product demonstration schedule? Speaker schedules? Would he sign cookbooks?

“They don’t tell me anything,” the clerk responded. He only knew that Raichlen would be there along with chef and barbecue spice king John Henry.

We arrive at the store around 12:30 p.m. Barbeques Galore had set a large white tent up in the parking lot adjacent to the store. Three large barbecues, including a barrel smoker, were set up inside the tent. Three rows of folding chairs sat ready for backyard cooks.

Henry was busy explaining how to grill chicken breasts over a gas barbecue. Although I missed most of his demonstration, I caught him explaining how he uses combinations of his spice rubs to season the chicken. Henry sells a line of spice rubs for the barbecue enthusiast.

What disappointed me the most was that I did not see Raichlen at the grand opening during our 45-minute stay. The article said he would be at the store from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other than two signs announcing his presence, I didn’t see any other signs publicizing a demonstration schedule or stack of Raichlen’s cookbooks for sale or even his picture.

I thought Barbeques Galore could’ve done a much better job of promoting Raichlen’s schedule. He could’ve been in the backroom taking a break or could’ve canceled -- after all we had some pretty strong weather that day in Northern California.

You have to let the public know what’s going on. That’s especially important when the promise of a nationally-known cookbook author draws a guy like me to an event. I may not have purchased a $1,000 barbecue. But I would’ve purchased one of Raichlen’s cookbooks and had him sign it.

1 comment:

  1. That happens so much today till it has become commonplace. The United States is fast becoming a "service oriented" country and yet so many seem to forget who feeds them.

    Kelsey in Kennewick, WA