Phoenix-native Brad Prose took his obsessive interest of flavors to the social media space by creating content that pushed the boundaries. Allowing his thoughts to dictate his content, Prose takes you on a journey to discover processes and techniques from his own curiosity (i.e. dehydrating kimchi for a Kimchi BBQ rub).
We got the chance to talk to Brad about his debut cookbook “Chiles and Smoke” and his journey to taking cooking and creating content full-time.
CR: Your debut book “Chiles and Smoke” debuted this past March 2023. How was your experience creating it?
BP: It was good to finally get a lot of my ideas that were just on paper out in the grill. But, it was also challenging at the time, going through it during the pandemic. Right as we started shooting and taking some of the content for the book our whole family got COIVD for the first time. It was an emotional time with a few roadblocks along the way.
Finding he right balance from taking care of two boys, managing my full-time job, and creating this book on top of that was tough. I was tasting and making sauces for the book during my lunch break, and rushing to the grill after work for testing. Having to coordinate with my wife who definitely stretched her patience as far as she could was a blessing.
CR: You’ve been creating content now for a few years predominantly on Instagram. How has the social channel inspired you in creating the recipes we can find in the book?
BP: When I first started on Instagram I was pushing the boundaries with processes and techniques that people weren’t necessarily searching for on the web. What I learned over time through Instagram is that I needed to tone it back.
I didn’t want to write a cookbook that was all my harebrained ideas, I actually want people to try [the recipes]. Instagram taught me how to restrain myself in a way to be able to teach, be a little bit more adaptable and not so stringent. So, that I wasn’t making recipes that had 30+ ingredients and 10 different processes. It allowed me to have a better educational experience that I could relay to my community.
CR: Other than its namesake “Chiles and Smoke” what can we expect from the book?
BP: I think the big key with this book is that I wanted people to be able to make a complex sauce or rub and be able to use it many different ways throughout the book. I really didn’t want it to be where you have one recipe and that’s the only recipe you can use those ingredients in. I spent a lot of time explaining to the readers how they can use flavors in lots of different ways. I tried to show that in different ways throughout the book. I want people to go flavor forward and beyond the actual recipe.
CR: Any recipes you think are standouts, and shouldn’t be overlooked?
BP: The most daunting [recipe] has to be the corn husked wrapped halibut. Halibut is not exactly a cheap fish to purchase, so you don’t want to mess that one up. The whole concept of taking the corn out of the husk and using the husk to wrap the halibut that is also wrapped in jalapeño basil butter is to then grill directly. The recipe is actually pretty simple, it’s just the experience of going through the processes that is actually the [daunting part], but so much fun.
CR: Now that you have an actual printed book in hand. How do you feel about it?
It’s tough to say right now, because it’s not out there yet – I am very anxious. I’m sure you’ve talked to other people in the past about imposter syndrome. I am not a trained photographer, I’m not a trained chef, I’m not even a trained pit-master. I’m just a guy that taught himself everything. It’s taken well over a decade to do that, but for me putting myself out there is a swirl of emotions.
I have an amazing community of people that are incredibly supportive. The BBQ community in itself is very supportive. I know that we will have great raving reviews. I think the first month or so is when I’ll be a little bit nervous, but I am so excited.
About The Author:
Brad Prose is a professional recipe developer, food writer, and culinary photographer. He is the founder and force behind Chiles and Smoke, a website dedicated to inspiring readers to use new flavor combinations, techniques, and ingredients when grilling or smoking. His combined passion for fine dining and BBQ shines through his presentations and cooking style.
Brad partners with brands to test and review the grills, smokers, pizza ovens, meats, produce, spices, and other barbecue-related products in great detail. His work revolves around bold and vibrant flavors, highlighting the features and benefits of equipment for professional and personal use.
The cookbook Chiles and Smoke was recently published featuring globally-inspired recipes that combine big, bold flavors of chiles with smoke and fire.
To purchase your own copy of “Chiles and Smoke” — Click Here