Outfitted with a Ph.B – that’s Doctorate of Barbecue Philosophy – from the Kansas City Barbecue Society and a fully loaded, Georgie Boy Class A motorhome, Rick Browne, the star of PBS series Barbecue America, has quested for nearly two years in search of the ever-elusive “true Q” sizzling across the country, according to the South Bend Tribune in Indiana.
The series, now in its second season, features 56-year-old Browne traveling the nation’s back roads in search of the very best barbecue recipes and cooking methods in the smoky, charcoal-scented barbecue subculture.
He also concocts many of his own recipes and methods, such as his signature “beer-butt chicken” – the steaming of a whole chicken vertically on a can of beer by sitting it in a barbecue grill over indirect heat.
Browne attends various barbecue and cook-off events in hopes of leading his loyal viewers to barbecue perfection.
One might think that so much time on the open road would drive a person mad, regardless of the goodies grilling along the way.
Fortunately, Browne contacted the Edwardsburg, Mich.-based Georgie Boy Manufacturing division of Coachmen Industries Inc. in search of a comfortable home-on-wheels for the journey.
“I wanted something I could decorate, something that was comfortable and that I could have fun with,” said Browne.
And have fun he did.
“My wife and I decided it’s the only way to travel. … When you get tired of driving you can pull off the road, pull out the bed, make a sandwich, read a book, whatever you want.” Traveling in a motorhome has also enabled Browne and wife Kathy to take their beloved cat and dog, Spoons and Spats, wherever they go.
Kathy is the executive director of Wishing Wells Productions, Browne’s publishing and production company.
Browne learned about Georgie Boy motorhomes when he was living in Oregon before the show got began. He spoke with several dealers at a trade show and was told that Georgie Boy motorhomes were “fun, great vehicles.”
Browne then contacted Georgie Boy, hoping to be supplied a motorhome in exchange for the opportunity to have the company’s product featured prominently on his show.
Although Georgie Boy receives many requests for marketing opportunities, company officials saw this one as unique, said Rich Allen, spokesman for Elkhart, Ind.-based Coachmen Industries.
Georgie Boy saw considerable cultural connections between barbecuing and RVing and thought the two would make a perfect fit. Barbecuing is all about “good food and family, it’s the American lifestyle,” said Allen. “And RVs are all about family and fun. … It’s certainly the best way to see America day by day.”
And it’s hard to think of a more All-American pairing than barbecues and the open road.
Barbecue “is really the only indigenous American cooking style,” Browne said in a recent interview with the Associated Press.
He told the AP that he believed the nation’s post-9/11 atmosphere had fueled interest in barbecue, with Americans traveling less and spending more time with family and friends.
Georgie Boy provided Browne with a 2003 Landau 3402 gas-powered Class A model, complete with a kitchen, full bathroom, reclining chair, and slide-out bedroom with a queen bed and mirrored wardrobe. When Browne received the motorhome from Georgie Boy in October 2002, that model retailed for $85,475.
Browne couldn’t be happier with his home on the road.
“It’s been a great relationship so far … and a great lifestyle experience.”