Tag Archives: BBQ

i8tonite with Moe’s Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe’s Cornbread Recipe

i8tonite with Moe's Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe's Cornbread RecipeWhat do you do when you love BBQ? You learn from the best – and then smoke, cook, and eat well. And, if you’re Moe’s Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez, you turn that business into a way to give back, teach, and provide great food. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Fernandez, originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, learned how to fire roast meats from Tuscaloosa BBQ legend Moses Day. From there, he founded Moe’s Original Bar B Que out in Vail, Colorado (where he went to culinary school) – and has gone on to grow a business with over 50 franchises in a plethora of states.

Fernandez’s mission is two-fold – to provide a unique and delicious dining experience, and to be a cheerleader for young entrepreneurs by providing opportunities and education.

i8tonite with Moe's Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe's Cornbread Recipe

The geography of the popularity of southern cuisine, especially BBQ, is interesting to track. When we talked, Fernandez noted, “people love BBQ – it’s unique, and you know what you’re getting into. In Vail, people eat BBQ four times a week; in Maine, once every few weeks…and in the south, everyone is always bbqing!” At Moe’s, people enjoy a meat and 3 – which is an entree, two side dishes, and a beverage. A look at their menu shows me that it would be difficult to choose exactly which, to be honest. But one thing that I always love is cornbread, and so I’m extremely pleased that Fernandez picked that recipe to share with us!

i8tonite with Moe's Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe's Cornbread Recipe

What most impressed me, when talking with Fernandez, was his commitment to the growth and development of young entrepreneurs. Having been one himself, he knows how important it is to have a mentor. So most of Moe’s franchises are located in college towns, and hire young adults as staff. When these college students graduate, Fernandez helps them get a store. He said that he has a vested interest in these young people, and is always trying to figure out how to help them. When I remarked on this generosity, Fernandez said he’s humbled by his success, lucky as hell, and happy to teach and share what is important. Indeed.

i8tonite with Moe's Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe's Cornbread RecipeStop by Moe’s, in one of their 50 and growing locations (come to Michigan, Mike, please!), and know you’re not only getting great food, but supporting a business that is a cheerleader for their employees and creating small businesses that serve communities. Win/win!

Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

How long have you been cooking?
40 years. My mother taught me to cook when I was young. She is from Sicily, Italy, and we cooked together every Sunday.

What is your favorite food to cook?
Fresh fish that I catch myself.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Various pickled vegetables, homemade jams, and homemade cured meats

What do you cook at home?
A lot of Latin food

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?
One that knows about food and can tell when something tastes different. I love when they want to learn, because I love to teach.

i8tonite with Moe's Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe's Cornbread Recipe

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?
When they refuse to try an item I prepared “as it is”

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?

Beer, wine, or cocktail?

Your favorite cookbook author?
Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn (Charcuterie)

Your favorite kitchen tool?
Kitchen Aid Mixer

Your favorite ingredient?

i8tonite with Moe's Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe's Cornbread Recipe

Your least favorite ingredient?
Liquid smoke

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?
Clean floor drains.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?

Favorite vegetable?
Golden Beets

Chef you most admire?
Frank Stitt and John Currence

Food you like the most to eat?
Fresh fish just caught

Food you dislike the most?
Overcooked Beef

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
None – my mom would kill me.

Moe’s Original Bar B Que’s Cornbread Recipe


i8tonite with Moe's Original Bar B Que Founder Mike Fernandez & Moe's Cornbread Recipe

6 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup yellow onions, fine dice
1/4 cup jalapenos, filet and fine dice
3 7-ounce packages Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread Mix

Beat eggs, add jalapenos and onions.
Add milk and then mix in 3 packages of cornbread mix.
Spray with Pam heavily (if old pan, add parchment paper to release) onto large 4×10 loaf pan. Pour in cornbread mix.
Preheat to 325. Bake 1 hour. When done, it should be firm to press. Do not overcook.
Using rubber spatula, slice into 12 slices at 3 quarters of inch each. It’s easier to cut cold or bread will crumble.
Brush one side with margarine or butter. Place buttered side down on griddle. Fry til crispy.


– The End. Go Eat. – 

i8tonite: BBQ Ribs and Four Seasons Scottsdale

20151019_075052Honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m going with it. I created a food blog/website about food, recipes and travel. Writing about people I admire, places I’ve been and food I’ve enjoyed and can share with individuals – hopefully, a takeaway recipe for the reader to cook. That’s it. That’s all I want to do.

At the end of the day, that’s what I’m thinking. Cooking, eating and being with people you love. Three simple things. I worked a wine tasting over the weekend, and I kept thinking to myself, “Who are these people? What stories do they have?” as I plied them with an inexpensive sparkling.

I think the question isn’t so much who they are but who I’m becoming?

I know I’m different than I was five years ago when the dam broke. It was a self-imposed structure that stayed turbulent emotions, eventually needing some navigating. I erected it for survival – we all do it – the edifice kept feelings in-check. Although, like any man-made constructions it cracks, needing a variety of sealants but the façade always breaks down. Once it’s down, erecting a new dam is possible but it will never be the same.

With my journey, the one constant is food and looking for it. Having it, not having it. Will it ever be enough? Am I enough?  I have to remember that I have enough today and all those questions need not apply… if ever again. With my work for i8tonite, my food clients, and other culinary on-line experiences, I was invited with Nick to have an experience at the Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North. We ate exceptional food and gawked at the vistas that only Mother Nature could make. From the lobby of the hotel, the view is breathtaking. Undulating mountain ranges blanketed by the blue Arizona skies. The earth’s dusky rose color flecked with prickly cactus and foremost amongst them, the mighty saguaros. Much like the California redwoods, these plants are resilient and massive. Invincible, like The Hulk, with arms reaching out asking for nothing but the elements and solitude. Yep, that was my view this morning. It was enough for today.

I was planning on cooking a delicious dish from Carolyn Jung’s San Francisco Chef’s Table: The City by The Bay (Lyon’s Press, ISBN 978-0-7627-9226-9). Carolyn is one of my favorite food journalists working today I want to support her as she has supported my food and hotel clients over the years.  Unfortunately, the days got away from me, and I wasn’t able to cook. Next week, though. Last week, I made an incredible beet and apple salad from the noted food memoirist and award-winning writer, Kim Sunee, whom I’ve also had the pleasure of knowing and working with over the years. Her book, Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels, is mesmerizing as it trips effortlessly from Asia to Europe to Louisiana. I made her BBQ ribs to accompany last week’s salad to share at a later date. I guess this is the later date. I made it with some small tweaks that I always do to a recipe. It’s delicious and enough for today.


You Will Need (Feeds 3 – 4):

About 9 pounds of Baby Back ribs or pork ribs.


Kim Sunee’s Spicy Tangy Sauce

¾ cup apple cider vinegar

¾ cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce

½ cup of fresh OJ

½ cup of ketchup

Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce

5 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon New Mexico red chile powder (Sprout’s carries this in bulk.)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt


Dry Rub: This is the reason I loved this recipe.

1/3 cup of New Mexico Chile powder

3 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon coriander

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Let’s Make This Puppy:

Preheat the oven 300 degrees and then line baking sheets or low rimmed pans with aluminum foil. While, the oven gets toasty, make the rub in a bowl and combining all the ingredients. Once made, work onto the meat, getting into the fibers. Roast it uncovered for about 2 hours. (You could stop here.)


Place all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Once the ribs have cooked for their first two hours, brush with the sauce and cover tightly in more foil. Bake for another hour and serve with sauce on the side.


The End. Go Eat.