BARBECUE! For most of us, just saying or hearing the word brings up memories - memories of important events and exceptional dining.

Barbecue has become a large and important part of American life. Throughout the country, barbecue serves as the vehicle for which countless number of families, friends and neighbors come together to celebrate many of life's mile markers such as births, graduations, weddings or anniversaries.

And the number of reasons for having a barbecue is only matched by the variety of ways in which we approach one. For some people barbecue means beef for others it means pork. For some it's simply cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill to satisfy a crowd of hungry people, while for others it's long hours of work using smoke and spice and low heat to coax the flavor and tenderness out of a tough piece of meat.

The purpose of this project is not to define what "real" barbecue is - and it certainly is not to identify where the "best" barbecue is - the purpose of this project is to explore and celebrate the diversity with which we approach barbecue in America.

Using still photography and sound I hope to document that diversity, as well as capture a sense of the passion that people have for barbecue - however THEY choose to define it.