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Salute to my Grilling Dad

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Father's Day Easy Flavor Happy Father's Day weekend!  - It seems like only a year ago that I was still convinced that I could become half the grilling guru that my dad is.


Everything my dad ever slapped on a grill tasted like a million bucks. He does it with ease and swagger, like a dad should. I think if I try hard enough I'll master the secrets of Eli Whitaker and his magic grill. Wait, maybe it wasn't magic. Maybe my dad just believes in simple things when it comes to grilling.

A picture revealed a grilling lesson to me. My mom and I were digging through family photographs in search of pictures of family dinners, mountains and southern life. It was for a project that I was working on. The seach provided us the opportunity to relive some fun family times as we flipped through the pictures.

'We ran across several pictures of my dad standing by his grill. I noticed something... dad believes in going simple. It was a classic chef lesson. There were only a few items around the grill with the steaks and chops. A bottle of baste, salt and pepper.

The Lesson? Let the flavor of the food shine through and add some flavor for variety. Dad did this every time the charcoal was fired up. He basted and sprinkled sesonings with a light hand, gently made patties, turned things only as needed, avoided hot spots and charring. Then he basted and seasoned if needed. I can't remember anything he cooked that was overwhelmed with spices or heavy marinades. Sure, there was some added flavor but you still tasted the burger, steak, chop, chicken etc.

I decided that this Father's Day I would honor Pops across the globe by offering up a simple steak sauce baste with a citrus twist that lets the taste of the meat shine through with a nice flavor twist. Sure, it's a bit more than just salt and pepper but its good! It's almost like cheating.

Happy Father's Day!
To all fathers and especially to
Eli Whitaker and Bruce Nagem
- from your kids.

Grilled Zesty Rib Eye Steaks
4 Rib Eye Steaks
1/2 cup steak sauce
1-2 tables spoons orange juice
Salt and pepper
First; gently sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Combine the steak sauce and the orange juice in a small bowl. Cook the steak over medium high coals or flames to your desired doneness while basting with your orange steak sauce. Add a few drops of hot sauce if desired.

Chattanoogan Bio: Kent Whitaker is a cookbook author and culinary writer with 10 published books. He is also member and AUXCHEF for the United States Coast Guard Aux. Kent and his wife Ally live in East Tennessee with their son Macee and two spoiled dogs. Kent's books are available, or can be ordered at, any book store or online at www.thedeckchef.com . Look for Kent on twitter at www.twitter.com/thekentwhitaker .


Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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