National BBQ show films outside Union Station with local pit masters


ST. LOUIS – The fourth season of “Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire” is being filmed in St. Louis just outside of the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station.

Raichlen will cook specialties from around the St. Louis area this season on his PBS show. On Wednesday he cooked pork steaks with Pappy’s BBQ owner John Matthews, but the show features more than grilled meats. It’s all about anything you can cook with fire. The season will also show Raichlen baking bread in a wood-fired oven with Balkan Treat Box.

The crew got to St. Louis on Monday, October 25 to start building the set for the 13-episode season.

Not only does Raichlen cook with other chefs, but he also teaches viewers how to cook some of his favorites. There is also a mystery box segment of the show where ingredients unknown to Raichlen are revealed and he has to create a dish.

On Wednesday, Pappy’s Smokehouse owner John Matthews was on set cooking pork steaks.

“I was given the option that I could do either spare ribs or pork steaks. I’m not really a fan of spare ribs so I thought, why not do the St. Louis iconic barbecue item pork steaks,” Matthews said.

Raichlen is also the author of multiple cookbooks and this is his 14th season of culinary television.

This is the first season of Project Fire that has ever been filmed in an urban setting.

“We thought it would be really cool when we heard about your train station with this amazing background here and thought that’s going to be a fantastic show,” Raichlen said. “St. Louis has such a rich barbecue tradition and I knew if we taped here, we could have lots of local guests on and give America and the world a taste of St. Louis barbecue.”

He will also do an episode where he attempts to grill the St. Louis favorite, toasted ravioli.

“We’re going to get ravioli on the set and then instead of deep fat frying them, I’m going to grill them,” Raichlen said.

Other episodes in the season will feature Beast, Edo, and more.

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