In 1914, the second Sunday in May was proclaimed Mother’s Day nationwide. It was not until 1972, 58 years later, that Father’s Day become a national holiday. Not many people know it is the third Sunday in June. In fact, two TV shows last week stated it was this past Sunday. While Mother’s Day is planned weeks in advance, dad gets five prep days at most. Father’s Day is coming up (next Sunday for those still wondering). So, what do we get the “old man”? Gone are the days of underwear and ties. There is no time now to plan a culinary trip to New Orleans or Northern Italy this weekend. Those take more than five days to plan. But don’t worry. I have some suggestions. We dads have changed. We picked the winner on Chopped, learned how to save that Restaurant Impossible, and visited every Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in the USA. For years, we have known our way around a grill but now we even know what “Farm to Fork” means. The word “grill” is slowly being replaced with the word “cook.” Wait a minute. Let’s not leap that far. Both women & men are comfortable with men out by the grill, but having the man in the kitchen, well that’s different. Mother’s Day saw everyone taking mom out to dinner.
It’s expected. Dad doesn’t get that. His day sees him fully in charge of the grill. That’s where we are, so now what we need are the best gourmet tools available. First, the vehicle, the Grill: “Mine’s bigger than yours!” Yes, if we were confined to an apartment or condo, we could take that 3-foot charcoal grill & still make a steak crackle as the fat burns, excite the nostrils with the smell of BBQ ribs, and make your mouth water for the buttered corn-on-the-cob encased in aluminum foil. BUT, if there is a large deck or wide-open backyard, then we men need a serious work area.
We need and for the true Gourmet Griller who knows how to bring a full-course meal to your lawn chair: Dust off those VISA cards ladies, for we are just getting started. Second, the Tools: We all know the three basic tools;
At every summer gathering, we will participate in the great debate over charcoal vs. gas grilling. With charcoal, timing is everything. Charcoal must be lit in time to ensure the coals are hot enough and ready to impart their rich smokiness. Gas takes less time and the heat is easier to control. But where’s the smoke? This debate will continue for decades. As a properly prepared man, we can change the discussion while showing our gourmet edge when we say: “Whatever you use, I would never grill my salmon unless it was on a natural cedar wood grilling plank from the northwest. The flavor is incredible whether it is over charcoal or gas. And for beef, the natural hickory grilling planks are the only way to go.” The discussion would move from a trivia debate to an in-depth discussion on recipes & methods passed down from generation to generation. All because you got us those grilling planks from Outdoor Gourmet for Father’s Day. Now we are cooking, not just grilling. As in any field, success brings growth. We will look for and conquer bigger challenges & our culinary conquests will increase as the summer continues. You will marvel at our success as you relish each juicy, savory, and delicious morsel we expertly guide from the grill to your plate. Now nothing is beyond our reach.
Next stop, a Food Truck! When summer slides into fall and the Father’s Day gifts begin to show their wear, we can only anticipate long, gray days without the smells of that well-executed grilled meal that would linger in our nostrils well into the Monday morning commute. Rather, we envision meals cooked indoors. While satisfying, they lack our participation and we miss that feeling of conquest. What must we do? Real Men do Grill & COOK! We will delight in cooking indoors! We will try recipes from the Pioneer Woman, who cooks for real cowboys. We will expand our knowledge. To do that, dad and I (dad’s new cooking partner) will travel to Northern Italy in October to learn how to cook rabbit & pasta and how to sip wine in a vineyard & taste cheese made from a 500-year-old recipe. Your gourmet-grilling Father’s Day gifts are just the beginning of dad’s culinary adventures. As part of your gift, how about an excursion to a food & wine festival? Or, might I suggest a Weekend 4 Foodies to New Orleans, where we will eat beignets, learn how to cook Cajun, and watch parades while enjoying an Irish coffee? Think of the culinary ideas dad will bring home for next year’s grilling—or cooking—season. There is no end to my culinary suggestions. Check out more at 4 Culinary Adventures where we Travel, Eat, Learn our way around the country & the world.
Join Patrick Barney as he explores his love of travel & food around the world & in his home town of Las Vegas.