The Epicurean Club of Boston May Newsletter

Updated: May 21


Dear Epicurean Club Member's

As May rolls around, I ask myself the question,What is the history of barbecue?

When examining the history of Barbecue people quickly break down into the age-old argument of what exactly Barbecue is. If we credit the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean with the advent of Barbecue as a method of preserving meat then it only follows that modern-day Barbecue is an evolution of this process, changing over time into that great southern icon, Barbecued Pork (or pulled pork).

If you wander out of the south, you quickly find people who "Barbecue" hamburgers on their Weber grill. The biggest debate you will find along the purists of the meaning of Barbecue will occur if you bring together a Texan and a South Carolinian. In Texas, Barbecue means Beef, particularly Brisket. In the Carolina's (the whole south for that matter), Barbecue means Pork (typically shoulder roasts and Boston butts).



History of Barbecue

When the first Spanish conquistadors arrived in the new world they found the indigenous people of the Caribbean preserving meats in the sun. This is an age-old and almost completely universal method. The chief problem with doing this is that the meats spoil and become infested with bugs. To drive the bugs away native cooks would build small, smoky fires and place the meat on racks over the fires. The smoke would keep the insects at bay and help in the preserving of the meat.

Tradition tells us that this is the origin of Barbecue, both in the process and in the name. The natives of the West Indies had a word for this process, "barbacoa". It is generally believed that this is the origin of our modern word Barbecue, though there is some debate on the matter.

The process began to evolve with the migration of Europeans and their import of captured and enslaved Africans to the region of the Southern United States. European pigs and cattle were transplanted to the new world and became the primary meat source for the colonies, pork being the meat of choice in the South due to the ability of pigs to thrive with little care. The racks used to dry the meat were replaced with pits and smokehouses.

Now, pit cooking is by no means new at this point in history or specific to any particular region of the world. If we define barbecue as a process of cooking meat (or specifically pork) in pits then the inventors of this process are probably the Polynesians who have been masters of slow, pit-cooked pork for thousands of years. So we will have to leave the definition for another time.

The process of slowly cooking meat in early colonial times was often reserved for poor cuts of meat left for enslaved and low-income peoples. Higher quality meats had no need for a process of cooking that would reduce the toughness of the meat. Throughout the south, Barbecue has long been an inexpensive food source, though labor-intensive.

One thing to remember that without a process of refrigeration, the meat had to be either cooked and eaten quickly after slaughter or preserved by either a spicing or smoking process. Traditionally spicing requires that large amounts of salt be used to dry the meat and lower the ability of contaminants to spoil the meat. Smoking in this period of time had much the same effect. The indigenous practitioners of Barbecue, cold smoked meat meaning that the meat was dried by exposure to the sun and preserved by the addition of smoke.







Swain Associates meeting

If you missed this meeting, you missed a great meeting. Nils and his team knocked it out of the park. A Special Thank you to Nils and Swain Associates for hosting our May meeting.


Up-coming events

The US Open

Certified Master Chef Joseph Leonardi will be promoting the USA Open Championship at the Country Club Brookline Mass. Chef Leonardi will be looking for Volunteers to work this weeklong event. This is a great opportunity for anyone who has never worked a large, scaled event like the US Open. Come to the meeting and find out more about Chef Leonardi, The Country club, and the US Open.


June Meeting

Our June meeting will be a joint meeting with our sister chapter, Professional Chefs of New Hampshire (PCNH). This meeting will be held at the NH Food Bank in Manchester, New Hampshire. This is going to be a great meeting hosted by our very own Chef Bradley Labarre, CEC, the NH Food Bank's Executive Chef and Program Manager.


June -Jimmy D Golf Classic


Our Goal this year is to get 100 golfers and as many new sponsors as possible. Let’s start recruiting now so we can meet our goal of 100 golfers. This is our largest fund raiser of the year and allows our club to grant Culinary scholarships.

Connor Heffler Golf Classic

This event will be one of our club’s community service events, see Tim Foley or John DiSessa to volunteer for this event.


July, Vacation

August, Vacation




September – Wachusett Mountain BBQFEST Sept 17&18th

This year’s BBQFEST promises to be a great event. All moneys made at this event goes to fund Culinary Scholarships. This is a special fundraiser with ACF RI and the Epicurean Club of Boston, Two Great Clubs One Great Scholarship Fundraiser. See John DiSessa , Tim Foley or Ray McCue to Volunteer for this event.

Springtime Raffle

Backyard Pizza Oven will be raffled off on May 31st,Get your tickets soon you could be our next raffle winner

ACF Online Learning Center


ACF is excited to announce the launch of ACF's Online Learning Center with additional opportunities to enhance your skills, advance your career and maintain your ACF certification. Take online classes, quizzes and practice written certification exams all in one place. Watch recorded sessions from ACF events if you were unable to attend. ACF members, your continuing education hours will be automatically uploaded to your profile.



New Membership Drive


The Epicurean Clubs Goal is to recruit new members. I would like to challenge each member to bring one new person to attend one of our membership meetings as a guest of the Club. Hopefully the new person will enjoy our meeting and find value in what we do and want to become a new ECB member. Let’s make it happen this year. The goal is to get 75-100 people to attend our meetings.

Save the date ACF National Convention Las Vegas Highlights-Date July 25-28 be sure to sign up early to receive the best rates.


Other Community service events are being planned.

Dates and places will be determined as we schedule these events.

NH Food Bank, Date to be determined.

My Brothers Table Lynn, Date to be determined

We are excited and look forward to the events scheduled above. Please be active in your club as a group we can make changes in our Membership, Community and improve our scholarship program but we cannot do it without your support.


I look forward to seeing everyone at our June membership meeting at the NH Food Bank.

John R DiSessa CEC.AAC



Chef Earle Test Certification Corner

May15,2022

Certification Matters

What’s unique about the ACF Certification Program?

The ACF certification program is the most comprehensive certification program for culinarians offering 16 certification levels. Culinarians achieve certification based on education, experience, and successful completion of written and practical exams. The certification programs is guided by the ACF Certification Commission. Learn more about the Certification Commission.



Differentiate Yourself! Get Certified in 2022

employers and the public. With thousands of chefs competing in the job market, it is essential to prove your culinary competency.

Benefits of ACF Certification:

  • Enhances reputation by proving the chef has the knowledge and skills required for a position;

  • Shows that the chef embraces continuing education as a life-long goal for continual improvement and mastery of the culinary arts;

  • Instills self-confidence when the chef achieves the goal of earning a reputable, challenging and quality-driven credential;

  • Communicates that the chef upholds the Culinarian’s Code of Ethics, including conducting oneself with honesty, integrity and fairness in providing professional service;

  • Proves that the chef can collaborate with others to cultivate new and innovative culinary techniques and skills.

Online Learning Center

Need to take a certification refresher course? Want to try a Written Practice Exam? Need to take the ACF Anti-Harassment Training Class? Maybe you are looking for some CEHs or want to learn a new topic like Beekeeping or watch a session from a past ACF conference? You can do all of that – and more – via the ACF Online Learning Center. Many of the classes are FREE and all are online. Check out all the amazing options available at https://tinyurl.com/52sxkdkd

Differentiate Yourself! Get Certified in 2022

ACF Certification adds value to the chefs, employers and the public. With thousands of chefs competing in the job market, it is essential to prove your culinary competency.

Benefits of ACF Certification:

  • Enhances reputation by proving the chef has the knowledge and skills required for a position;

  • Shows that the chef embraces continuing education as a life-long goal for continual improvement and mastery of the culinary arts;

  • Instills self-confidence when the chef achieves the goal of earning a reputable, challenging and quality-driven credential;

  • Communicates that the chef upholds the Culinarian’s Code of Ethics, including conducting oneself with honesty, integrity and fairness in providing professional service;

  • Proves that the chef can collaborate with others to cultivate new and innovative culinary techniques and skills.

One-Price to Get Certified

The ACF also announced that initial certifications will have a one-price model to include: initial and final application fees, written exam fees and practical exam administration fees (It does NOT include the practical exam local host fees). Fees for students at ACFEF-accredited and ACFEF-apprenticeship programs will remain the same.

· $250 for members

· $490 for nonmembers

Recertify for Free with your ACF Membership

Renewal certification fees will be included in your ACF membership fees, giving significant value to your ACF membership! You will still need to maintain your continuing education hours, however, you will not have to pay a renewal fee. For this benefit to apply, membership must be maintained without any lapse for five years!


If you have any questions regarding the certification process please contact Certification Chair, Earle Test, CEC, CCE, CCA at emtest@verizon.net




Thank You to our Supportive Associate and Allied Members






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