We are told not to judge a person by where he comes from. That’s good advice, but there are exceptions. W. Park Kerr is a ninth-generation Texan. A West Texan from El Paso. He’s an author and founder of food companies and an expert, a serious expert, in Texas food.

Burning Desires is twenty-four years young and still powerful. Tonight, I’m having baby back ribs with one of his sauces and his fabulous cole slaw. Yes, I’ll post pictures and recipes in the coming days. It’s a book that, even in its third decade, you want to turn to.

There are chapters for salsas and sauce, for rubs, for grilling and smoking, and for drinks. Park is a margarita maven. But I love this book for its collection of intense and unique recipes. Ideas that are special and that cannot be forgotten.

My ribs tonight have his Curried Marmalade Mustard Glaze. You might find these other ideas equally appealing:

Christmas Ketchup with Cranberries and Pomegranate

Green Chile, Corn, and Cheese Strata with Smoked Plum Tomato Sauce

Kahlua Baked Beans with Coffee

Quick Mocha Sauce with Kahlua and Coffee [the man has fetishes]

Smokey Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

Sweet Buttermilk Slaw

West Texas Barbecue Mop with Ketchup, Beer, Molasses and Soy Sauce

Pineapple Lime Agua Fresca

Strawberry Chocolate Layer Cake with Buttermilk Fudge Frosting

You want a perfect brunch? Serve the Strata with the Slaw and the Agua Fresca. Then finish with the cake and its Fudge Frosting.

Diverse, creative, authentic, and delicious. You can string many adjectives to describe all of Park’s books. But I think his work, and surely this one, is best summarized by this: indispensable. When you’ve tried his salsa, you aren’t going back to the store to buy jars anymore. You are buying peppers!

Oh, yes. He like the peppers hot, so do get some Scotch Bonnet. You’ll put them to good use.