There are countless food specialists in the marketplace today; all experts in their respected fields of authentic cuisine. There are thousands of famous ethnic chefs, French, German, Italian, you name it, that nationality and its particular cuisine is covered by someone. Pastry chefs, seafood chefs, cook/entertainment celebrities, and specialty food chefs, all receive national television coverage, receive awards, write best sellers and travel within that famous clique. God bless them all as they have studied and worked hard promoting themselves and their personalities to get the notoriety and respect they deserve.
One segment of that industry that has been totally ignored is the Redneck Chef.
If you look at some of the specialty foods prepared by some of these famous chefs, I must say, they’re not for me. Ever eat at a fancy French Restaurant? No self-respecting cook would put that little bit of food on a plate to serve someone for dinner. Now I’ll admit, it’s pretty to look at but it sure falls short of even a good appetizer! The Italians know how to cook and eat and always supply plenty of wine to soak up the food, or is it the other way around? That’s always confused me. Manners and tradition follow these ethnic cooks as they present their creations in such majestic style. The Oriental chef always presents an outstanding meal of exotic spices and vegetables blended together and pleasurable to the pallet for most all of us, but in short order you’re looking for more soon after leaving the restaurant. My grandparents were German and I grew up eating hearty sour foods that you never dared comment on for fear of stimulating that ‘German temper of Grandmas.’
Each nationality deserves its own place in culinary mortality but, given the choice, I’ll take a Redneck Chef any day. Let me explain the Redneck Chef to you if you don’t already know. A Redneck Chef can cook anytime, anywhere, on anything. From fillet migion to squirrel, venison steaks or fish, he’s prepared to spice them to perfection. He can cook with gas, charcoal, wood or on the manifold of his truck. He cooks with wine too, but usually of the Boones Farm vineyards or another popular brand called Mad Dog. He knows better than to waste a fifty dollar bottle in a frying pan and is usually quite content to use the half drank bottle of warm beer sitting on the tailgate of his buddies truck.
A Redneck Chef’s tools are simple and adaptable: a skinning knife, a garbage can lid, and a little tin foil works wonders to fashion an outstanding meal. Expensive cuts of meat are of no interest to the Redneck Chef. He knows full well, if you cook it long enough with enough BBQ sauce on it, no one will ever know the difference. Assisting a Redneck Chef can be quite a rewarding experience. Aside from some certain precautions you need to take such as ducking as he lights his stove, keeping the ashes of his cigarettes from the stew, or holding him upright because he put one too many ice cubes in his beer, his many talents and instruction may amaze you.
A Redneck Chef doesn’t need expensive cookware; a screwdriver from under the truck seat will stir as good as a thirty dollar spoon. After an afternoon of cooking, I’ve learned twelve songs, all with reference of what your mother-in-law can do with her opinion, how to get run over by a train and wonderful things about a faithful old dog. They weren’t particularly inspirational but they were entertaining. I had no idea that the theme song from the movie Deliverance was a love song. The three-second rule of food falling on the floor was of special interest to me. I found that it takes over five seconds for germs to get on it so if you grab it up within three you’re safe.
I learned a very important secret that being a Redneck Chef requires large amounts of beer to be consumed. He never really explained the reasoning but it was very evident that the beer was the catalyst for his creativity and adaptability. Did you know that an old suede shirt makes a great apron and won’t catch fire nearly as fast as those store bought ones do. Beer is a good fire extinguisher, just shake and point. I was amazed to find out that a certain bathroom appliance makes a great cooler and that you can leave it outside without worry of someone stealing it. In a pinch, it doubles as an extra chair.
Standing side by side with the Redneck Chef, I was truly amazed with his unorthodox manner and culinary expertise. With some reassurance to my reluctance I feasted on his masterpiece. After that case of Old Milwaukee, I viewed him “a chef among chefs." In a matter of hours he created dishes, no, HUGE BOWLS, of stuff that smelled great, slid down easily and gave me enough gas to power a car. He created such an awesome ambiance among his guests with dancing and singing; I’ve never heard anyone belch the melody of She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain before especially while cooking. I’d have to crown him king of the trailer park.
The following video, Trailer Park Cooking Show With Jolene Sugarbaker EP1, courtesy of You Tube.