Early into 2015 I was told that Weber was getting a new office in Toronto.
Weber, for those who don’t know is a grill company who makes all kinds of grills helping all of you make a better steak (or vegetables for the vegetarians). I actually pitched in with my brother to get my dad his own Weber grill for Father’s Day last year and he’s quite the fan of it.
They invited me to a session at their Weber Grill Academy up in Vaughan to learn how to cook a full meal from appetizers to dessert on their grills with a bunch of other bloggers. Unfortunately, thanks to my hectic schedule between start-up work, school and blogging I couldn’t make it that day. Instead I sent the real grill master of the house, my father, or The Piquey Eater Sr. (ha!) to go in my place.
I was actually not going to go to this event because it was located well outside of my TTC-able area (public transit ftw) and it was right after work. They surprised me by saying that transportation was going to be on them in a limo. Yes, you heard me, a limo.
AM I FAMOUS YET GUYS?!?
Anyway, I’ll leave my dad to explain how the event was and the different things he learned while at the Weber Grill Academy.
With over 4cm of snow already on the ground with more on its way, this day was definitely not set out to be the best for grilling. Luckily the event was indoors.
I was invited along with a bunch of other local food bloggers to a grilling event at the Weber Grill Academy in Vaughan. The Weber Grill Academy is a unique facility in that it is an indoor 4 season grilling environment with grills of all types: Gas, Charcoal, and Smokers. All set up in a classroom environment led by a professionally trained Chef, Chef Michael P. Clive. As you can see from the photos this is one classy set-up where participants get to prepare, grill and eat the food in this highly interactive class. Chef Michael is a very energetic and enthusiastic leader of these classes which made the event highly entertaining and educational.
In this particular session we prepared a menu of Cedar Planked Salmon with Honey-Lime Dressing, Smoked Chicken Drumettes with Orange Honey Glaze, Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce, Asparagus and Potato Napoleons with Tarragon Vinaigrette and finally a dessert of Grilled Pineapple Upside-down Cake. Each group of 4 participants prepared their own complete menu so there was a lot to do, it was a good thing that the ingredients were premeasured and prepped for us in advance – could I get this service the next time I BBQ?
It’s a good thing that food bloggers tend to know their way around the kitchen as we were able to make fairly quick work of these recipes in a kitchen that was entirely unfamiliar to us. The most hilarious part of the evening for me was that at key junctures during the cooking process, you could tell you were in a room filled with bloggers. One glimpse of food and out came the cameras or camera phones followed by a mad series of clicking. Kinda reminds me of the Japanese tourists sightseeing on a bus and at every scenic stop. During the cooking process, we had the opportunity to use every piece of grilling equipment on the floor – from the Gas grills, Charcoal grills and the Smoker.
After all of the prepping and cooking was done, we sat down with the entire group to feast on the bounties of our efforts. The results were amazing! The food tasted fantastic and the grill flavours reminded me of lazy summer days in the backyard. Too bad we will still have to wait at least 3 more months before we can enjoy that again. Although Weber did include a tip sheet on grilling in the winter, the mere thought of going out there now feels like preparing for torture – I’m waiting till May.
Weber gave each participant a loot bag like none I’ve ever had before. Included in this bag was a Grill Academy Hoodie, Recipes and tips from the evening, a USB filled with Songs (for grilling I guess) and of course we had a personalized Weber apron that we used during the class. It was an amazingly fun event and it was very well organized thanks to the efforts of Theresa Stahl and her team. They even gave us each a travel BBQ grilling unit to take along with us in our favourite colour.
Also, before I forget to mention the Lincoln limo that they sent to drive me to and from the event was greatly appreciated, especially during the weather. I would highly recommend these classes for anybody who is passionate about upping their grilling game this summer or as corporate team building events. The best part is that it’s all indoors so you can enjoy the taste of summer any time of the year!
-The Piquey Eater Sr.
To Check out Weber Grill Academy and everything they have to offer, check out their link at Weber Grill Academy