Tag Archives: bbq

Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef Eric Kaszubinski

The Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival is almost here! We have loved getting to know some of the talented chefs who will be participating in this year’s event. We’d like to introduce you to Chef Eric Kaszubinski of Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa.

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1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

Food Network was not around till I was in high school.  However I would see chef’s including the late Julia Child and a program called Great Chefs on television which drove me to want to discover and learn more about food from around the world.  On a more personal level, my family has always been involved in the food business.  Some of my fondest memories are being in the kitchen with my family cooking up a traditional Polish meal.

2. What nationalities or trends inspire your cuisine? (ie Thai, French, casual American, tex-mex)

Growing up, my family hosted exchange students from Japan and China.  I feel that my curiosity of their cuisine has played a role in some of the items I put on my menus today.  I would not say that I represent one style of food, instead I cook what I want and what my guests want; great food inspired by what is around us.

3. What is one of your favorite ingredients and why?

This is a tough question to narrow down just one ingredient as my favorite.  I have many items that I like to use and I also feel that this continues to change as I evolve my cuisine.  I would say that one of my favorite ingredients would be a sea scallop.  There are many ways to prepare this, whether it is raw or cooked.

4. Why did you decide to participate in the Gridiron Grill-Off on November 10?

Pompano Beach Marriott  has been a longtime supporter of this event and as the Host Hotel… we wouldn’t miss it! It benefits a great Foundation, it’s here in our Pompano Beach community, it showcases the area’s culinary talents, and of course… it’s a blast!

5. What are you looking forward to the most at this years Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine and Music Festival?

Connecting with all the people in the community that I live and work in, seeing all the Dolphin “Greats”, participating in the corn-hole tournament, and the opportunity to win fan-favorite this year.

6. Any recommendations for those planning to attend the Gridiron Grill-Off for the first time?

Come early, pace yourself and make sure you vote…for me!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Get Your Tickets!

Instagram: @gridirongrilloff

Facebook: Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival

Twitter: @GridironGriller

Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef David Hackett

Who’s ready for some football & grilling!? We are revving up for our 3rd year attending the Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival on November 10, 2018 at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater – the ultimate celebrity culinary competition for charity. We would like to introduce one of the incredible chef’s dedicating his time and talent to support charity through the Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival, Chef David Hackett, the Director of Culinary & Executive Chef for the Biltmore Hotel.

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and a 1988 graduate of Chicago’s Washburne Culinary Institute, one of the best and oldest culinary schools in the country, located in the City of Colleges of Chicago Kennedy – King Campus. Chef Dave began his culinary journey at the very early age of 12, he has now been in the Hospitality Industry for over 40 years.

Chef Dave has been the Executive Chef of many prestigious properties and resorts such as the Westin Diplomat Hotel, Westin Charlotte, Mansion at Forsyth Park, Doral Golf Resort & Spa and the JW Marriott Dubai to name a few. Chef Hackett has competed and medaled in numerous ACF, Societe Culinaire Philanthropic, Geneva Association Culinary Art salons and NICA Ice carving competitions throughout his career both local and international; including the 1996 IKA Culinary Olympics and the 1998 Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres.
Chef Hackett is a professional member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs as Conseiller Culinaire Provincial for the Southeast Region, American Culinary Federation Active Member and a Lifetime Ambassador of the WACS Emirates Culinary Guild.
He continues to give back to the community and chairs “Chefs Up Front – Flipany” and “Chefs out of the Kitchen” charitable events throughout the year.

Learn more about Chef Hackett!

1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

I did not want to be a chef at the beginning, I wanted to be architect. But once I started working in a popular steakhouse / rib joint on the south side of Chicago and I got to see how creative a chef could be and how many different mediums of food products to work with I was hooked. Chef Paul Young and the owner of the restaurant Karoly told my father I was a natural in the kitchen and I should pursue a career in the industry.

2. What nationalities or trends inspire your cuisine? (ie Thai, French, casual American, tex-mex)

Having worked and traveled throughout my career I have adopted a few to create my style of cooking (French is what your taught in school, Italian and Mexican is what I grew on and far east for its bold unique flavors and ingredients) Creating new foods is what I love most!

3. What is one of your favorite ingredients and why?

Sea salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper – simple and clean to bring out the best in food.

4. Why did you decide to participate in the Gridiron Grill-Off on November 10?

It is very hard to say no to John Offerdahl! He is a fantastic individual! Anything I can do to help support him and his foundation I am in.
5. What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine and Music Festival?

Supporting John by making money for the foundation, having fun, networking and WINNING IT FOR THE 5th time with my longtime partner #25 Louis Oliver!! (2010 champ, 2011 champ, 2012 people’s choice champ and 2017 champ)

6. Any recommendations for those planning to attend the Gridiron Grill-Off for the first time?

Come hungry, pace yourself, have fun and enjoy a great time and vote for Chef Dave – The Biltmore Hotel!!

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Find Chef Hackett at the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Get Your Tickets!

Instagram: @gridirongrilloff

Facebook: Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival

Twitter: @GridironGriller

 

Ms.Cheezious Milkshakes!

Fire up the BBQ and get out the ice cream for this Fourth of July! There is nothing better than a creamy, cold milkshake on a hot summer day. We hope you celebrate your holiday in the sun with fun, friends, and food, of course! Chef Brian Mullins of Ms. Cheezious has come up with two unique shakes that you wont be able to resist!

First up is the Midnight Snack Shake.

Midnight Snack Coral Gables

Look no further for you sweet and savory needs than this outrageous shake! Your taste buds will be in heaven with a chocolate shake topped with chocolate covered potato chips, caramel corn, a peanut-dipped, chocolate covered pretzel and finally some whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

For all of you with a need for sweet, check out the new Pastelito Shake.

Pastelito Shake

This new Miami-inspired concoction is a vanilla and guava shake garnished with a fresh guava filled pastelito on top of a mountain on whipped cream!

Don’t miss out on these delicious milkshakes and more from Ms.Cheezious!

Happy Fourth of July and happy eating!

MS. CHEEZIOUS BBQ PULLED PORK GRILLED CHEESE RECIPE

Kick off the summer with this outrageous BBQ Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese recipe. Chef Brian Mullins does not disappoint with this tasty treat!

BBQ Pulled Pork

BBQ Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese

(Adapted for pressure cooker)

Ingredients:

3 – 4 lbs pork butt (cut into chunks)
1 Medium yellow onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, crushed
Kosher Salt
Your favorite barbecue sauce
1 16 oz beer, your choice
4 slices Texas Toast or other thick cut bread

8 slices Cheddar cheese

Salted butter, softened

Directions:

Start by salting the pork once you’ve cut it into pieces.

Place the pork into slow cooker.  Add the diced onion and crushed garlic.  Mix all the ingredients around and cover with beer.  Close cooker and cook for 4-6 hours.

When the time is up open the lid and remove the meat setting it aside. It will be very fragile, so be careful when you try to move it. Cover with tin foil and let it cool for a little while to lock in the juices. Then, using two forks, shred the meat.

Add back some of the sauce and juices from the pot to the pulled pork.  Salt to taste.  Add some of your favorite BBQ sauce.

Butter the outside of each slice of bread. Place 2 cheddar slices on each piece of bread.  On two slices add big scoop of BBQ pulled pork the top with 2 other slices of bread  Place on the griddle or pan; cover with a metal bowl and let the sandwiches get a nice golden brown, wait 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, cover again and cook until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

June 2016 Chef of the Month – Brian Mullins

Brian Mullins-in the kitchen

Congratulations Chef Brian Mullins for being our Chef of the Month for June! See what cheesy concoctions he has been making in Miami!

Where were you born?                

I was born in Long Island, New York.

Where do you work and where are you based? 

I live and work in Miami.  I have food trucks and two brick and mortar locations for Ms. Cheezious.  It started as a food truck in 2010 and we opened our first brick and mortar on February 1, 2015 and our second this past April.

What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes? 

My favorite kitchen tool is a good knife.  It can become an expensive habit!

What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?   

Hearing.  In the restaurant industry we need to listen to people and our guests’ feedback.  You can’t be emotional if someone doesn’t care for something.  You need to be able to hear them and make changes.  A lot of people don’t listen to what their customers have to say.

What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?  

Put in the time.  Learn to take every opportunity presented to you when you’re not working.  Ask to volunteer, to work with other chefs and offer to work at any event.  Keep your head, down mouth shut and observe what’s going on around you.  Be humble, pay attention and ask questions.

What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?    

Proper seasoning in general, but especially salt.  It can change a lot of things so learn how to use it correctly.

What does good food mean to you?    

Good food means family. I grew up in a house where my mother, grandmother and aunts all cooked really well.  My best memories are of big meals made from scratch in the kitchen that took hours or days, depending on what they were cooking.  We all sat down together and ate really good meals. Now, my family and friends in the industry get together to create good meals and share those new memories.

What trends do you see emerging in the near future?  

No one is really doing shakes in Miami, so we brought it back. We launched them a month or so ago. Florida is so hot; everyone wants a cold milkshake.  We did a midnight snack shake – a chocolate shake with chocolate and peanut dipped pretzels, caramel popcorn and chocolate covered potato chips topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. For all the Miami people, we did a Pastelito shake with a guava cream cheese and vanilla base garnished with a fresh Pastelito on top.

What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)   

I want it to fit well and look good.  Who doesn’t want to look good?  I am big in the shoulders, so I need to be able to move.  The coat needs to be moveable and breathable.  I wear a lot of chef shirts.  Being in South Florida, it is hot all day, every day and even hotter in the kitchen.

Favorite ingredient to work with?    

Obviously, cheese.  But besides doing grilled cheese, I really love smoking meats and BBQ.  I like making pulled pork and ribs.

Favorite City to dine out in?   

New York. I love every place. There are so many people from so many places around the world that you can get anything. It’s so rich in culture.  If you want Mexican, someone from Mexico will make it or if you want dumplings, someone will make you authentic dumplings.  I can always have one more slice of pizza as a snack in between meals too.  I come home 10 pounds heavier from every trip!

Best Dish you have ever made?     

Probably ribs.  Like I said, I love smoking meats and barbecuing.  You can take a long time to prepare them to impart a lot of flavor, and I create a good sauce.  I can make them ahead of time and heat them up when I have friends over.  I never have a problem having people show up for my barbecue.

Place you eat most often on your days off?      

The Hillstone.  I always know what I am getting.  The food is good and the service is always great.  Since I have so few days off, I want to have a meal served to me properly. I don’t want to leave a restaurant mad on my day off.

Person you would most like to cook for?         

I would like to cook for José Andrés.  He seems like a cool guy to hang out with.  I would love to make Spanish food and tapas with him.  He has always been a super nice guy when I have met him in the past.  Like I said before, my best memories are good meals with family and I think cooking for him would be like that.

What made you decide to become a chef in the first place?       

I started cooking at a very young age.  Growing up, my mom was a single mom.  We would fend for ourselves from an early age.  When I was like 7, I would wake her up while she was sleeping to open jars.  She was always in the kitchen cooking and making breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyone.  After seeing my mom, grandmother and aunts cook, I wanted to emulate what they were doing. I would figure things out and make stuff that tasted good and get everyone sit down to have a good meal.

What is new on your DVR?      

You would have to ask my wife.  When I come home, I sit down and she puts on whatever she wants and I can just sit still finally.  I don’t get much time at work to sit still.

Using the Right Grill and Tools to serve up a great 4th of July feast!

yumIt’s no surprise that on the 4th of July, the grill is king. Although Independence Day celebrates the day that our great nation was born in 1776, we all know that grilling (and fireworks) are iconic symbols and activities celebrated on this fun, outdoorsy day. Whether you’re cooking hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled veggies, or anything in between, your grill will be your best friend on the 4th. So, it is important that your grill is working properly so you can do your food, and this great holiday, some justice.

Here are some tips/reminders to ensure that your 4th is a delicious one.

  • Show off your grill skills by using the zone technique. With warm and hot zones, your grilling will be even and efficient, allowing you to cook multiple types of food at once without having to worry about over or undercooking – a problem that arises when the grill is set to just one temperature. In the warm zone, set your grill to 100-150 F for indirect heat. In contrast, your hot zone will be at 500 F for direct heat.
  • Plain and simple: Do not constantly flip your burgers and hot dogs! Although it is fun and undeniably looks cool, this causes the meat to lose its flavorful juices, leaving it dry and boring.
  • Let the meat rest for a few minutes before serving! Remember, the cooking process does not end once you take the meat off the grill!
  • Use the classic “finger test” to check the temperatures of your meat! Index finger to tip of the thumb feel signals rare; middle finger to thumb signals medium rare; ring finger to thumb signals medium; and pinky finger to thumb signals well done.tools

Having a great grill is just as important as having a great chef use the grill. If your grill is outdated and giving you more problems than you have time to deal with, invest in a new grill. The Delta Heat 32-Inch Model, running off of propane gas, is as top-of-the line as it gets. Featuring a double door cabinet, this grill has a high and even heat output. In addition, it has a full rotisserie system so you can enjoy succulent, evenly-cooked meats! Made in the United States, the Delta Enterprise has a sleek design that makes grilling elegant while ensuring quality.grill

Whatever your grill or techniques may be, we hope that you have a happy and safe 4th of July! We know that your grill specialties will be a huge hit!

 

Memorial Day BBQ – A Twist on Tradition

Memorial Day is the day that we remember and honor those who have lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Though we’ve been celebrating Memorial Day for almost 150 years in this country, the spirit of the holiday remains the same even today. However, the way in which we celebrate has certainly changed over the years. Where it began a sad, mourning holiday, it has grown into a celebration of life, a time to be with our loved ones and honor those lost.

Today, the most common celebration for Memorial Day is to have a barbecue. In fact, Memorial Day is the second most popular holiday for barbecuing (after July 4th). As you may have seen on our Facebook Page, we’ve dedicated this week to Memorial Day Barbecue ideas and recipes. So, we thought we’d take it a step further with some helpful techniques and tips for the big BBQ this weekend. Enjoy!

  • Give it time to heat up. In order to make sure your grill reaches the right temperature and kills off any bacteria that might be in there, be sure to preheat your grill 15-20 minutes before cooking.
  • A clean grill is a healthy grill. It’s easier to remove debris and residue from prior meals when the grill is hot. Use a wire grill brush on your grill rack after preheating to ensure a clean slate, and again after you use it.
  • Avoid sticky situations. Reduce sticking food by oiling up your grill rack. Use tongs to hold an oil-soaked paper towel (make sure it isn’t dripping into the flames), and rub it over the rack. Never use cooking spray on a hot grill.
  • Food poisoning (or worse) isn’t fun. Always use separate cutting boards, utensils and platters for raw and cooked food to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Contemplate before you marinate. Never baste food with the same liquid you marinated it in. Make extra marinade just for basting, or boil your marinating liquid before using it again. Refrigerate while marinating.
  • Reduce flare-ups. Try to use leaner cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove the skin from poultry before grilling.
  • Think before you reach. Don’t forget, kebab skewers get hot on the grill. Enough said.
  • Know thy grill. Every grill is different, and will have different hotter and cooler spots. Know where those spots are so you can use them to your advantage.
  • Don’t lose the juice. When turning meat on the grill, use tongs or a spatula, rather than a fork, as piercing it can cause the juices to escape. When the meat is cooked, let it rest on a clean platter (tented with foil for better results) for about 10 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute evenly.
  • Dress the part. Don’t forget to put on your chef apron or chef coat before hitting the grill, to avoid splatter while cooking!

Grilling

While we do realize that “barbecue” and “grilling” are not interchangeable, for the purposes of our Memorial Day celebrations, we’ll assume they are.

Enjoy! National Barbecue Month

With summer coming just around the corner, and before it gets too hot out, May is the perfect time to have a barbecue… which is probably why May is National Barbecue Month! According to a study conducted by the HPBA (Health, Patio and Barbecue Association) last year, most Americans (over 80%) claim that cooking outdoors is easier in many ways than cooking indoors, and that it is an easy way to save money, rather than going out to eat (they also get to show off their new chef coats to their friends and family). About a third of all of the adults polled associate a good old-fashioned BBQ with family tradition, and say that it is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family.

In terms of the food itself, here are a few fun stats about barbecuing that just might help our chef fans create the perfect Barbecue Month menu!

– 65% of Americans like to marinate, season or pour sauce over their meat while grilling.

– 42% of men (and only 31% of women) like to spice up their grilled meat with steak sauce or hot sauce.

– 66% of consumers prefer ketchup on their burgers to mustard, and the same percentage want cheese.

More and more people are grilling these days, for all of the reasons above and more. For great recipes, tips and tricks, as well as some Barbecue inspiration, visit www.HPBA.org. If you’ve got any BBQ tips, leave a comment below and share with us!

BBQ for your country

Independence Day! Another day off of work, where we get to go swimming, watch some great fireworks shows, and let’s not forget about barbecuing… what could be better? So many great dishes are incorporated in the typical Fourth of July barbecue; it’s hard not to be excited! First, let’s talk about the burgers. I mean, wow! Who can resist a nice big, juicy burger with all of the fixing’s? Not a fan of red meat? That’s ok! There’s always grilled chicken wings! Seasoned perfectly with just the right amount of whatever happened to fall off of the spice rack that day, it really doesn’t matter what’s on them, they almost always come out tasting great!

Next, the salads. Normally, these would come before the main entrée, but let’s face it… who’s going to eat a salad first when that burger is hot off the grill? So, when you finally get to the salad, your stomach is feeling great and looking forward to the next course. It’s difficult to explain why, but for some strange reason, salads are always better at a barbecue. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been sitting out in the sun while the burgers were cooking, but if that’s the case, I’m going to start leaving my salads outside before I eat them!

After the salad we head over to the side dish table, where we typically have our choice of potato salad, cole slaw, chips, fries, and macaroni salad. But we never take too much of this category, because we know what’s coming next… dessert! And, since it’s National Ice Cream Month now, why not have a make-your-own sundae bar? If you want to “Independence Day it up”, you can even have just red and blue M&M’s and sprinkles as toppings. Great idea, right? We’ve got a million of ‘em. Getting hungry yet?

Here’s another great idea: If you’d like to make your holiday even more patriotic, try wearing one of our red chef coats by the grill. It’ll keep you from getting any grease on yourself and your clothes, and you’ll look stylishly patriotic while cooking up a great dinner for the family.

Got any more ideas to sweeten your 4th of July Barbecue? Let us know by commenting below!

The Good Old Days

Summer is here! Today is the first official day of summer, a time for swimming, sun tanning, and of course, barbecuing! So, get out the grill, dust off that patio furniture, and pour on the sunscreen, because it’s going to be a long, hot summer!

But today isn’t just the first day of summer; it is also the Summer Solstice, meaning that it is the longest day of the year. However, while some of us are enjoying our sunny(ish) 14 ½ hour day today, others are still suffering from the chilling effects of spring. But on the bright side, our friends in Colorado can now officially say they’ve seen snow in summer! Regardless of what the weather is like, we all know that summer is a time for some great food!

This is a time of year that really takes us back to the good old days… no more school, you get to go swimming in the pool everyday and play outside with friends, and then there’s dad by the grill, cooking something delicious for the family. Whether it was a big, juicy burger, a thick hunk of steak, a nice piece of grilled chicken or freshly made teriyaki shish kebobs, it was always a treat for everyone.

Another great food to make during the summer is one that the kids absolutely love – popsicles! Remember taking an ice cube tray and pouring your favorite fruit juice in, covering it with cellophane, and putting toothpicks or popsicle sticks in them? How great was that?! This time of year certainly tends to bring out the kid in all of us, and makes us remember the times when we would wake up, go outside and play with our friends, come back home to the smell of the barbecue, and eat until our pants no longer fit. Then we’d wake up the next day and do it all over again! Now we’re the grown-ups, watching the younger generation enjoy the food that we’ve prepared for them.

So, if you love to cook and love to eat even more, please leave us a comment below and tell us what you like to eat or cook for the family during the summer – we want to hear from you! If you’re feeling really generous, post a recipe for others to enjoy!

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