The once immutable menu at Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke is under the process of being over-hauled under current chef and pit master Jean-Paul Bourgeois. Bourgeois took the helm of the barbecue mini-chain earlier this year following the departure of Kenny Callaghan late last year. Callaghan opened Blue Smoke in 2002 and was a driving force behind the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. His menu, which has remained constant until now, was reflective of the era in which it was conceived, meaning it included a wide array of barbecue traditions, from Texas brisket and Memphis baby back ribs, to North Carolina pulled pork, and Kansas City spare ribs. But Bourgeois is steadily changing that.
These geographically based designations have been largely removed from the menu now, replaced with names like "7 Pepper Rubbed Brisket" and "Backyard Barbecue Chicken." And its not just the names that have changed: the brisket and the chicken are actually new recipes conceived by Bourgeois. Both the baby back and the spare ribs are also due change this month, but exactly how remains to be seen. The full menu should make its debut in late October, with what Bourgeois says will be "a greater emphasis on soulful Southern food." He also promises it will now "change continually throughout the year."
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