Hi there! My name is Chef Hardcore, and I want to welcome you to my column, RVEpicure. I just wanted to tell you a little about me so we won’t be complete strangers here on the Ol’ Interweb.

I grew up in the Berkshires in the Northwest corner of Connecticut. My mother was fond of roasts and veggies and anything that could feed six people easily but still be healthy. Her meatloaf is still the standard that I judge all other meatloaves upon. My father was the King of Breakfast. Most Sundays he would pull out all the stops. Watching him take everyone’s order and then get it all to be ready at the same time was magic. I remember he would be turning around with a plate of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, and onions, and as he walked by the toaster, the bread would pop up so he could grab it without missing a step. Seriously. He was that good.

I cooked for myself in college (as we all did to some degree just because we had to, right?), but then I got married and moved to Austin, Texas in 1996. I fell in L.O.V.E. with barbecue. I mean REAL barbecue. Like brisket with salt and pepper over mesquite for 18 hours kind of barbecue. So I learned how to barbecue and smoke meats kind of backward. I mastered the brisket first. I didn’t even know until about 6 years ago that most people attempt chicken thighs and pork ribs well before attempting to smoke a 16-pound monster brisket.

I now live in a 40’ Class A full time with my girlfriend of almost a decade and our three large dogs. I cook for a living, as well as write reviews for as many of the places I visit as I can. It took me decades to figure out that I was a total foodie and not just being a jerk when I was at a restaurant and they couldn’t figure out how to properly cook a steak. Hint: It isn’t that hard. Use a thermometer. In fact, if people just bought a decent thermometer and used it in the kitchen, or out on the grill, so many issues could be avoided. It isn’t cheating; it’s smart. On to the nitty-gritty…

In this column I will be describing the processes that you can use to make some great tasting food on the road or at home. There will be stories and there will be recipes. There will be reviews and there will be links. I will explain why certain ingredients work together no matter what they are added to, and also why some that may seem odd can add some fun or unexpected excitement to your dish. We will work on your palate, and your palette, so that you will be able to come up with your own ideas and recipes to make your food YOURS.

If you would like to check out more of what I do, feel free to peruse my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. I also have an online store for my rubs and spice blends that can be found at hardcoresmokehouse.com and facebook.com/hardcoresmokehouse.

Thanks for reading, and next time, I’ll meet ya in the kitchen!