Kick Off Michael Pollan’s Booksigning With a Locally Sourced Back Alley BBQ

For the past 25 years, author Michael Pollan has lectured worldwide on food, agriculture, and the environment.

Photo from

Best-selling author Michael Pollan is coming to Crosstown Arts Tuesday to read and sign his most recent book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.

But before the program starts at 7 p.m., Chef Miles McMath is throwing a party with a locally sourced menu that sounds scrumptious and fun. Dubbed Back Alley BBQ, the menu features local beer, a creative spin on barbecue food, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes.

“I’m not a vegetarian, but I only eat meat that I have sourced personally or raised, so I eat a lot of vegetarian meals,” said McMath, director of culinary operations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “I love to cook that way.”

Side dishes for the party include grilled kale and pickled shiitakes with black barley and sweet chile vinaigrette, new crop potato salad with duck eggs and chive mayo, cornbread panzanella with spring vegetables and purple hull pea vinaigrette, and Leonard’s sweet mustard slaw, a nod to McMath’s much-loved slaw from Leonard’s Pit Barbecue, a longtime favorite in Memphis. For dessert, look for fried peach pies and Cracker Jack ice cream cones made with popcorn and pecan brittle.

Shoulders from Mule Foot heritage hogs, raised on McMath’s farm and dressed up with smoky persimmon barbecue sauce, will anchor the menu along with Mississippi Reubens made with smoke venison sausage and barbecue tofu “baloney” with a Memphis-style glaze. Other vegan dishes include a pickle bar, hot water cornbread, and focaccia made with Chef Rick Farmer’s 14-year-old sour dough starter. (Impressive, don’t you think?)

Proceeds from the party and a portion of Pollan’s book sales will benefit Bring It Food Hub, a recently formed distributor in Memphis for small local farmers and producers. Admission to the Pollan event is free, but the booksigning requires a line ticket purchased in advance at the Booksellers at Laurelwood in East Memphis. Tickets to the barbecue party are $20 and can be purchased here.

Back Alley BBQ behind Crosstown Arts, 430 N. Cleveland St., May 20, 5 to 7 p.m.

Michael Pollan reading and booksigning, Crosstown Arts, May 20, 7 p.m.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

Barbecue Champion Melissa Cookston Talks Triple D, Babyback Ribs and New Restaurants

2012.08.26 07:06 PM

Throwback Thursday: Norah Jones Shares Recipe for Gus’s Fried Chicken

Here’s a popular post on making world famous chicken at home.
2013.11.14 02:29 PM

Confused About When to Stir a Cocktail and When to Shake It? Michael Hughes Explains.

2013.06.07 02:22 PM
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Stories

Atlanta Chef Steven Satterfield Heads to Memphis for Seasonal Dinner at Porcellino's

Four courses and wine pairings to include dishes like quail with muscadines and red-eye gravy.
2015.10.04 11:55 PM

Don't Miss Beautiful Produce from Yang Farm at Cooper-Young Farmers Market

Farmers from Toone, Tennessee exemplify commitment to family, community, and local food.
2015.09.29 11:39 PM

Modern Southern Comfort Food Updates the Peabody's Capriccio Grill

Chefs at The Peabody in Memphis perk up lunchtime with shrimp and grits, plate specials, and BBQ in a Mason jar.
2015.09.27 02:36 PM

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags