Tim Byres is currently en route to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on behalf of the State Department's diplomatic culinary partnership, which was founded in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation back in 2012. According to an official statement, the partnership "seeks to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America's formal and public diplomacy efforts." (Of course, culinary diplomacy isn't exactly something new for Byres; prior to moving to Texas, he was the executive chef at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels.)
While abroad, Byres will promote American cuisine to his foreign audience through grilling workshops, lectures and classes for professional chefs; he'll also appear on local morning shows, learn about Kyrgyz cuisine, meet with local village shepherds, utilize local ingredients to cook Texas-style cuisine for foreign leaders and, proving that maybe Kyrgyzstan and Texas aren't so different after all, even participate in a local barbecue festival. Perhaps diners will see some Kyrgyz influences pop up on the menu at Smoke in the near future?
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