About a year ago, I was contacted by Barry Martin on behalf of Char-Broil. I know Barry has been associated with them for some time, and I’ve seen his work online and in books (I even have a few of y recipes in one of the books he’s done , America Grills! By Char-Broil). Barry asked me to be a part of Char-Broil Live as an All-Star Blogger.
I thought it might be fun, and I got to try out one of Char-Broil’s new infrared grills as my ‘payment’. Yes, I got it free in exchange for my involvement, but, honestly, it’s a killer grill!
This all brings me to a few weeks ago, when I got an email from Mary at Char-Broil about an opportunity to meet up with the other all-stars and some people from Char-Broil, at a place called Serenbe, near Atlanta. It even turned out that I was able to get my wife to join me!
So fast forward to last week, and the time has come to fly south. I’ve already got a good opinion of Barry and Char-Broil in general, but now we even have a driver at the airport to limo us to Serenbe, as well as fantastic digs. Things are better and better.
We find that Serenbe is patterned after the English countryside, with pockets of “villages” with pasture, fields, animals (including livestock), organic produce and lots of gorgeous in between.
In he morning, we met up with everyone for a country breakfast served by one of the nicest staffs I’ve seen. Other than Barry and some of the Char-Broil staff, the other all-stars were Christo Gonzales, Danielle Bennett Dimovski, Catherine Chapin Mayhew, Michael Williams, David Olson, Scott Gregory Thomas and Julie Reinhardt. I had to wonder why I was even there after seeing what these others are capable of doing!
After breakfast, we talked about the company and the things happening in infrared. The gist is… Char-Broil knows what they’re doing. On top of that, I learned that the company has a lot of integrity, wants to truly help the grilling community in ways beyond just selling equipment, and it’s a company with which I’m glad to be associated.
The day continued with all of us grilling a whole bunch of stuff for lunch, followed by a Chopped-esque competition. We paired up, and Julie got stuck with me. We had to come up with something using chicken, bacon, chunky peanut utter, fennel, pineapple and bleu cheese. Well we didn’t win. Christo and Scott took the honors. We had fun, though.
The day ended with a tour of the HGTV Green Home, a cocktail hour, and a great dinner at the farmhouse. I really enjoyed the time and meeting everyone, and, to Mary, Michelle, Barry and all of Char-Broil, I want to say “thank you”. It was actually my wife’s and my 9th anniversary, and we thoroughly enjoyed. It.
And to the other All-Stars, thank you for doing what you do and keeping the bar high.