Cooking up memories

Styles vary, but the joy of grilling remains

By Eric Floyd, WAC Executive Chef

For me, memories come with specific flavors. The tangy taste of homemade barbecue sauce, for example, reminds me of summer parties, beach trips, and campouts. In fact, barbecue has a way of rekindling my memories more than any other cuisine. I think barbecue touches a lot of people this way, bringing back memories of lazy summer days committed to the lost art of relaxation.

Here at the WAC, we keep this in mind every summer as we roll out two months of barbecue specials.

Perhaps more than any other American cuisine, barbecue is regionally defined and rabidly defended. I consider myself lucky to be a chef who has spent significant time in various parts of the country. This comes in handy when trying to meet (or is it “meat”) assorted tastes.

In Alabama, I learned to “baptize” chicken in mayonnaise and vinegar.

In Georgia, tomato-based sauces vary in sweetness and heat and are commonly found sizzling over fires of oak and hickory.

And in South Carolina, where I spent eight months stationed in the Army, they love mustard-based sauces.

Here at home in Washington state, we don’t have a particular barbecue style to call our own. On the upside, that means we get to pick and choose from the rest. Here’s a closer look at three regional barbecue sauces.

—Reach WAC Executive Chef Eric Floyd at

Originally published in the July/August 2019 issue of WAC Magazine.

—Updated March 2020, DM

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