Hot Chef: Jeffrey Held serves up some good ol’barbecque

Jeffrey Held

Barbecue sauce must run through the veins of Jeffrey Held:  His first restaurant job was amongst smoke houses and pig roasts, and after 10 years working at Blue Smoke in the Flatiron district, Held now comes to the eatery’s second outpost in Battery Park City. We spoke with the urban barbecue maestro about bringing a taste of the South to Lower Manhattan.

You’ve introduced some new items to Blue Smoke’s menu.

[We] just add a little bit of refinement and finesse to cater to this neighborhood, yet at the same time keep the core menu items the same. You’d be surprised — there are devout fans that come back and want these three modifications on this exact dish they’ve been having for many years.

Why do you think they’re so loyal to Blue Smoke?

I think the brand is just comforting for a lot of people. We already have regulars here after six, seven weeks.

What’s your favorite dish to cook on the menu here?

I love to cook the barbecue. We learned how to engineer our smoker here to make the process much more consistent.  Rather than having the chimney directly connected to the smoker, it just sits beneath a hood just as an oven or grill would in a restaurant, so it really enables us to monitor the cooking process. You don’t have to worry about weather, atmospheric issues or sucking the smoke out — we can keep our eyes on exactly what’s going on. That’s definitely something we’re excited about. I think the baby back ribs are coming out really, really good. We started cooking our beef ribs at a lower temperature, and we’re really excited with the way those are coming out. We’ve added a pretty delicious pork chop [and] a bunch of different little bar snacks. We have a very, very heavy happy hour bar crowd. [At] 5:05 every day it’s packed.

I see you’ve got a wedding ring on. What dish would you cook to impress your wife?

I hate to say salmon because it’s so average, but one of my sous chefs has developed a [recipe] using actual lemons, forming them into charcoal. We roast whole, juiced lemons till fully charred and dried to the form of charcoal. We then fire up this “lemon charcoal” in our wood smoker and smoke fresh lemons with the smoke from the coal. We then use the smoked lemon juice and zest in the sauce preparation. We serve that with our seared salmon and a brussel sprout, butternut squash and fennel hash. The lemon charcoal permeates through the whole lemon so you get actual smoked lemon juice and zest out of that product.

Why do you think Blue Smoke needed a second location?

We waited so long to get this place this open. There was always dialogue about it, for many, many years. We always wanted to expand and finally it happened. I think people really have a good time here. They know what to expect. You always know you can come here, have delicious food, have a good time. You may have to wait a little while at the door, but you’re gonna get sat, and you can enjoy some pretty cool cocktails if you have to wait.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Gossip

Chris Martin dishes on 'conscious uncoupling' with Gwyneth…

"The thing we told everyone at the beginning of the year is true," says Chris Martin about Gwyneth Paltrow. "We are very close. We are not together."

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Sports

Kevin Love becomes third NBA player to pull…

Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves became the third NBA player to withdraw from consideration for Team USA in next month's World Cup, USA Basketball.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.