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One of top barbecue chefs in world to appear at Illinois State Fair       Send a link to a friend

Mike Mills to sign copies of 'Peace, Love and Barbecue'

[AUG. 11, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- World grand champion barbecue pitmaster Mike Mills, owner of 17th Street Bar & Grill in both Murphysboro and Marion, will be signing copies of his new book, "Peace, Love and Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue," at the 2005 Illinois State Fair. The down-home delights of the grill will also be available for sale at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation World on the Illinois State Fairgrounds and at the concession stand on Grandstand Avenue, just west of the carnival area.

"Peace, Love and Barbecue," is an extraordinary behind-the-scenes journey into the world of barbecue, with Mills serving as your personal tour guide. The book gives you the chance to join Mills and his barbecue buddies as they spin a few tales, spill their secrets and share their prize-winning recipes. In addition to approximately 100 recipes for delicious appetizers, soups, salads, sides, main dishes, desserts, sauces, mops, slathers, injections, rubs, beverages and of course, barbecue, the 342-page book includes the locations and contact info for the most famous barbecue joints in the country.

Mills himself will be signing copies of the cookbook at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the 17th Street Barbecue on Grandstand Avenue

In the early 1990s, Mills was co-captain of the Apple City Barbecue Team, one of the most celebrated teams ever to hit the competition circuit. Mills has the distinction of being the only three-time grand world champion of the Memphis in May barbecue contest. Now, the champion pitmaster -- retired as a competitor -- is highly sought after as a judge and consultant and is affectionately known in the barbecue world as "The Legend." He presides over the pits at his six nationally acclaimed barbecue joints, two 17th Street Bar & Grill locations in southern Illinois, and at championship barbecues in Las Vegas. He is also the barbecue guru and a partner at Blue Smoke restaurant in New York City.

Conservation World at the Illinois State Fairgrounds includes old-time favorite foods from yesterday. Besides 17th Street Barbecue, visitors can enjoy real root beer, hot pork rinds made on the spot, tasty shaved ice, fresh kettle corn, roasted corn on the cob and honey.

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Exhibits also pack the Conservation World grounds, revealing a cross section of the natural resources of Illinois and the stewardship responsibilities of the Department of Natural Resources. Visitors can learn about mines and minerals, forestry, Illinois wildlife, and ecology. Guest artisans will demonstrate crafts ranging from glass blowing to candle making. Illinois Conservation Police officers will be on hand to answer questions about hunting, fishing, and boating rules and regulations. Other Department of Natural Resources staff, experts on wildlife, fisheries and biology, will be fielding questions. Exhibits will highlight other facets of the department, including state parks, education programs, mining and oil production, forestry management, and tree farming.

Visitors to Conservation World can also ride in a 20-person canoe, fish in the "bass tub," watch sculptors using chain saws to turn logs into art, enjoy performances by the Purina Incredible Dog Team and view Scheer's Lumberjack Show.

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources news release]

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