John Scofield, the one-time mouthpiece for the Congressional committee tasked with burning through money, was back in the news this week. Only this time he let his cooking do all the talking.
The former communications director for the House Appropriation Committee, who has since co-founded his own government relations shop (Shockey Scofield Solutions), was declared one of the winners of the Washington Post’s second annual Smoke Signals Barbecue Sauce Contest, clinching top honors in the “alternative” category.
His nontraditional Oriental Express Sauce ties together pantry staples such as ketchup and Dijon mustard with Asian flourishes (Sriracha hot sauce, seasoned rice wine vinegar). Scofield told WaPo barbecue columnist Jim Shahin that he cobbled together the curious compound a few years back while entertaining friends.
But it’s hardly the first culinary creation he’s presented to dining authorities.
“I’m a serial recipe contest submitter,” Scofield told HOH, touting the perennial Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Recipe Contest and Pillsbury’s $1 million Bake-off Contest as previous targets. He also enjoys throwing down against other former Congressional staffers and close friends, participating in regular "Iron Chef"-style competitions (three years running) and chili cook-offs.
“I’d smoke my breakfast every morning if I could,” Scofield said of his passion for outdoor cooking. He swears by his electric smoker but also keeps an authentic Weber Kettle handy. And just about everything sounds like it’s fair game.
He’s been known to smoke ribs, brisket, almonds, salt, seafood — he’s got a salmon filet curing in his fridge right now that will be getting the slow-and-low treatment this weekend — and even his homemade collard greens. And then, of course, there’s his absolute favorite.
“I think smoked chicken wings are probably the best thing on earth,” he suggested.
Here’s hoping we get invited to the next epic barbecue.