Eccentric, Eclectic California Culinary

Iron Horse Chef

The gods of steam decreed that no engineman to ever go hungry during a hard day’s work on the world’s biggest rolling pressure cookers.  With 150 psi and up to 2,500 degrees of heat, these unexpected cooktops can grill, smoke and steam just about anything you can throw on them.  It’s only natural that the most resourceful railroaders would utilize these gourmet kitchens-on-wheels to their full culinary potential.  Besides, who doesn’t love a little oil and grease cake seasoning?

Think we’re totally out to lunch?  Let me ask you this: if we were, who would be watching our engine while we hit Denny’s?  (Plus, we’ve got far pickier palates that Moons Over Our Hammy can cut).

Backhead cooking is far from a new idea.  Back in the day, when steam railroading was a mainstream profession, some railroad firing manuals even included recipes to cook on coal scoops.  That’s official railroad issue.  Later, the same eclectic wackadoodles who keep these dinosaurs running a half-century after the end of their useful service life became stoked over bringing back this long-standing workplace dining tradition.

In the 21st century, the revival of backhead cuisine continues to gain steam at tourist railroads across the country–and abroad.  In 2007, Engineer Jeff “Grumps” Badger, along with fireman Ed “Oil Can” Kelley, produced the pilot episode of Iron Horse Chef, a cooking show spoof our Food Network friends will almost certainly never pick up.  Subsequent episodes have continued to follow, with this blog, a cookbook and more in the works.

Episode 1
In our first full-length episode, watch as Jeff, Oil Can and friends “Hotrod” Hovanitz and “Cookie” Thurman sautee, smoke and steam savory morsels off a steam locomotive backhead in true railroad tradition.  Featuring a special cameo appearance by the camera-shy original Iron Horse Chef, Phil Reader.  All aboard and bon appetit!

Series Teaser
A trailer run on YouTube and social networking outlets.

Episode 2 Short
In an all too brief installment, Jeff cooks enchiladas on No. 3’s tallow tray.


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