SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria Style barbeque is about to go national. On Tuesday, the Santa Maria Elks Lodge will be featured on Man Fire Food, a weekly half-hour show on the Cooking Channel. The show, hosted by chef Roger Mooking, features unique and creative ways people cook with fire.
It's something Santa Maria Elks Lodge #1538 has been doing for generations. For decades, the Lodge has been famously cooking the same meal. "We really work hard on keeping it traditional. We want to do it the same way today as we did it 50 years ago, so if you ate here today, you got the same meal five years ago, ten years ago, 50 years ago so there's a consistency in there that people come to expect," said Wayne Stahl, BBQ Chairman at the Lodge who appears on the show with Mooking.
During the show, Stahl explains to Mooking just how simple "Santa Maria Style" barbecue is. "We want to show the simplicity. It doesn't have to be as complicated as you see on these barbeque competitions and stuff like it. We want to show everybody around the United States that just make it simple, keep your rub simple (salt, pepper, granulated garlic), concentrate on the meat. So we want to use our style of barbeque to point out that everybody that this is how simple it can be, you can do it in your backyard, take a couple of hours and have a great meal," said Stahl.
A television novice, Stahl was immediately made comfortable in front of the cameras thanks to the charismatic Mooking, who is currently in his third season with the show. "It was a lot of fun. Roger is very smart, very well educated person that really understands cooking and loves the open fire style barbeque. He's traveled all over the country doing this type of stuff for the show. He was a lot of fun to be around, he's always joking around with people, very down to earth, made it a very enjoyable experience. I didn't really know what to expect. I'd never done a show like this before and obviously was pretty nervous and he just immediately made me at ease."
While Santa Maria Style barbecue features several side dishes, such as pinquinto beans, salad and bread, the Man Fire Food will center on the main course, top block cooked over red oak, not tri-tip as is often mistaken. "What we do it put salt, pepper and granulated garlic on there and get the flavor from the smoke from the fire. It's a good tender meat, it's a good quality meat. "You'll see us skewer the meat, putting it on the rods, you'll see us putting it on the fire, we'll cook it, we'll slice it," said Stahl.
In addition to showing Santa Maria Style barbeque, Man Fire Food will also feature another longtime Santa Maria Elks tradition, the weekly "cook-your-own," an event where members and guests are allowed to cook their own meat on the spacious grill.
Man Fire Food airs on Tuesday night on the Cooking Channel. The episode with the Santa Maria Elks Lodge will broadcast Tuesday, July 29th at 5:00 p.m. and will be re-broadcast at 9:00 p.m.