[INTERVIEW] Roger Mooking: Man Fire Food

Whether it is cooking over an open fire, grilling over charcoal, barbecuing low and slow, or smoking in the pit, Chef Roger Mooking is sharing more of his fascination with flames on the new season of Man Fire Food, premiering Tuesday, July 5th  at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT  on Cooking Channel. On the 13 half-hour long new episodes, Roger follows the smoke signals across the country learning how pitmasters and local chefs use inventive methods and techniques to create sizzling hot, flavorful dishes. Check out a snippet of our interview with the phenom of flame…

 

Host Roger Mooking moves coals from the fire pit use in cooking lamb barbacoa, as seen on Cooking Channel's Man Fire Food, Season 3.
Photo Courtesy of Cooking Channel- Host Roger Mooking moves coals from the fire pit use in cooking lamb barbacoa, as seen on Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food, Season 3.

2LOUD: You have a million talents under your belt, a musician, an author, you cook. How do you juggle all of that?

Roger: Well the straight answer is we are a very well organized, well-oiled machine and we manage our projects very carefully. They allow me the freedom to take creative projects under my belt, start them and they let me run with them.

The esoteric answer is (as he gives a mirthful laugh) time is a construct of man right, so it doesn’t actually exist. So if you’re trapped in the believing of time then you will forever be beholden to it. But if you take it for what it is, because it doesn’t actually exist, then there is really an endless amount of time to achieve everything you want to do. So I subscribe to that (lol).  You have to sacrifice too. A lot of people don’t want to sacrifice. “Oh I want to go to the party tonight…” while they’re at the party, I’m writing a song in the studio. While they’re at a Barbeque, I’m filming barbeque.

2LOUD: Your show is titled Man Fire Food. What is your fascination with fire?

Roger: I think it’s a primal thing. Everybody, you put them in front of a fire for a few seconds and it’s hard not to be mesmerized by it. I don’t know what it is, but at the end of the day I’ve come to believe that it’s just primal. It’s instinct. It’s heat, it cooks your food, and it keeps you dry. It’s just a basic human need.

2LOUD: Where is the oddest place that Man Fire Food has taken you?

Roger: I’ll tell you this, Texas has had some interesting places (he says with a smirk)…

2LOUD: What about any near death experiences…

Roger: (erupts into uncontrollable laughter) near death experiences?!

2LOUD: yeah, I mean, you’re playing with fire in crazy places so you never know…

Roger: (still laughing) I’ve lost hair on my arms, I’ve lost my sanity a few times…it’s been mostly wacky adventures. One thing I’ve realized about people that like to cook outside with fire is they are all interesting characters. They’re very passionate bout it and you get around that fire and that vibe and theyre very territorial about how and what they do. It’s a whole world, once you really start to dive into it, it’s its own micro planet, so its really interesting to check it out and get to be a part of it.

The new season of Man Fire Food, premiering Tuesday, July 5th  at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT  on Cooking Channel.

FULL INTERVIEW IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF 2LOUD MAGAZINE.

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