Friday, January 15, 2016

Grand Caymen Cookoff Photos

NorCal Ovenworks occasionally gets a chance to send equipment to the top chefs of the world. Several months ago, Tony Biggs told me he was going to participate in the Cook Off, at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman. He asked me what to cook on, and we talked about a whole or half steer rotisserie, which was logistically difficult to get to Grand Cayman. After batting some ideas back and forth, I asked him what he thought about cooking beef ribs like they do at a Brazilian Church Asado. His enthusiasm and how it turned out stunned me.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Commercial Rotisserie Created

We've created a commercial Charcoal Rotisserie that mounts on top of our Commercial Charbroiler. It holds up to 30 chickens, or about 100 lbs. of beef, pork, or lamb.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Scratch Bar to Reopen!

Several years ago, I got a call from a chef's mother. Yep, she wanted to know about grills. Later, I discovered that the chef in question was Quinn Hatfield. At the time, he was running Hatfield's, but I believe he was wanting to reinvent himself. Eventually, he bought two grills. I was surprised that Quinn also asked to be a facebook friend. Later, I got a facebook messenger request from Phillip Frankland Lee, who knew Quinn, and wanted me to contact him about grills.

After a lot of hashing around, we finally came up with a design, but Phillip and his business partner wanted to meet me face to face. (This really worried me, because I'm a chubby, bearded guy, raised in the country, but with engineering degrees, and Phillip is a radically cool, tattooed chef from the city.) Anyway, Phillip, came down, and we sat at my computer, turning a 3 D rendering of his grill around and around, tweaking the grill to get it right.

We came up with this:

This is the Sketchup Pro design of the grill for Phillip Frankland Lee's new restaurant Scratch Bar Encino.

Well, this is what the grill actually looks like, installed:

I haven't been able to talk to Phillip since he assembled the grill, but it appears that he likes it, based on the wording on his picture! One thing about Phillip Frankland Lee, it seems every time I see a picture of him, he is wrestling with a tied up fish!
Now, I'm coming to California in May. I want to see Scratch Bar, but I want a Peanut Butter and Jelly from the Gaderene Swine. I am intrigued.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Gator on the Grill

I make a lot of grills for chefs, but sometimes the customer is not a chef, and he does an extremely credible job. Here is an example.

First, subdue one alligator. Please, do not skip this step, otherwise, the gator will bite the grillmaster, jump of the grill, and wreck your party. 'Splain to the gator that you are above the food chain, and that he is dinner. This is an 84" Wide Santa Maria Grill with an Argentine Grill Grate and a Smoker Box.

Stuff the gator with andouille sausage and wrap him in woven strips of bacon. Secure with wooden skewers.

Cover the gator with a big steel box to keep the heat in, and use a small, small fire. Remember that, at best, a gator tastes like chicken, but overcook him, and he will taste like your shoe.

Roast gator with a large quantity of garlic heads, and garnish with a nice gourd in his mouth.

Serve to a delighted crowd.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Case Study: My Outdoor Kitchen

My family and I moved to Georgetown, TX in September of 2014. We found a nice little house across the street from a 400 year old oak tree that Chisholm used to park cattle under back in the day.

Here's the front view of the house:
Here's the back view of the house:
Here's the 400 year old oak tree:

Here's what I decided to do:

The walls and roof are up in this shot:

I couldn't get the whole house into the previous picture. Note the temporary interlocking aerated concrete blocks in the foreground that I used for a firebox while planning my kitchen:

Here's a long view of the kitchen:

The sink and cutout for the wok range:

The Argentine Grill kit in a Santa Maria Style Firebox and a cut down version of our Restaurant Smoker. Instead of 13 briskets, I can only do 8:

A 97" X 33" steel table, made of 3/8" steel plate, which I have since lined with split firebrick. This fire table can hold a Uruguayan grill kit (54"X27") plus a chapa, and I can trade it out for a whole hog rotisserie whenever I get the urge:

I am almost finished with this project. Note that the wok range is sitting in a corner of the kitchen, and the propane tank on the smoker. I ran into a snag with natural gas, and the busy plumbers in Texas, along with the requirement that natural gas plumbing requires a permit and inspection. Now I know how my customers feel when they are trying to complete an outdoor kitchen, and some snag or other delays them.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Touching Up A NorCal Ovenworks Grill

Our Argentine Grills are painted with the best paint we can find, but due to excessive government regulation, we cannot ship paint to a customer, even by Fedex Ground. HOWEVER, when you need to touch up the paint, YOU can order small quantities from several places, and these registered "hazardous shippers" can ship small quantities of paint to you.

The paint, in we use, in spray can form is AW Perkins 90AW 1400ºF Stove Paint Spray - Black, and it is available from several places. I am listing several of them because one supplier or another may run low on stock, from time to time.

Supplier 1:

Supplier 2:

Now, a few words about surface preparation........

Degrease the area that needs painted, TSP and water is probably the best way. Then, rough up the area to be painted with some sand paper, so that the steel is shiny. Again. make sure the surface is absolutely clean, and spray the paint lightly. Apply a second coat rather than applying a thick coat.