Early in his career, Raichlen researched culinary history at the Library of Congress. He said, "It would be a great honor for me to speak at the Library of Congress. I got my start in this business a long time ago with the help of one of your rare book librarians, Mr. Beck, who managed the Katherine Bitting collection." Leonard N. Beck was curator of the Katherine Golden Bitting and Elizabeth Robins Pennell collections of European and American culinary books, publications and manuscripts from the 15th to the 20th centuries in the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
Raichlen is the author of 26 cookbooks and the host of "Barbecue University," a television show on PBS, now in its third year. The show is taped on location at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., where he teaches barbecue and grilling classes in a program of the same title, "Barbecue University."