Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Weber Grill Academy, St Louis MO

A few months back, my Bacon Pimento Cheese Cherubs won the Grand Prize in the
Nature Sweet Tomatoes Tomato-Vators recipe contest! Part of the package was the awesome new gas grill that is now on my porch, but the best part finally happened this past weekend.
As part of my grand prize, Louis and I were flown to St Louis, MO to visit the Weber Grill Academy, cook with the chefs there and learn all about cooking techniques on their gas and charcoal grills.
  Here's what was explained to me before we left:
Your package includes an exclusive, personalized experience with their Grill Academy Chef using both charcoal and gas Weber Grills. Your tour will begin at the restaurant and Grill Academy. There will be a private bartender in the room to accommodate your needs. 
Your menu will be:
• Grill-Fired Mussels with Nature Sweet Tomatoes 
• Grilled Caprese Nature Sweet Tomato Salad 
• Bone In Tomahawk Ribeye 
• Grilled Lobster Tail 
• Grilled Roasted Ratatouille with Nature Sweet Tomatoes
• Grilled Lyonnaise Potatoes 
• Cherrywood Smoked Cherry Cobbler
What What?! To say I was excited is a huge understatement. They had me at "Private Bartender"
I knew the brief description sounded awesome, but I was truly blown away once we got there and realized that we had the entire cooking classroom, that usually seats 22 students all to ourselves! The table was set beautifully and had 2 gift bags for us, a mimosa was ready for me almost immediately and we rolled up our sleeves to started cooking.
Chef Keith had 3 grills ready to go with charcoal and he had Louis fill the grill baskets. Luckily no eyebrows were lost
All of our dishes were prepped for us and since I knew it was going to be a huge meal, I hadn't eaten breakfast. I'm really glad I didn't because the amount of food we made was insane!
First up was the Grill-Fired Mussels with Nature Sweet Tomatoes
Louis and I both love mussels, but I've always done them on the stovetop, so this was a treat!
You might not be able to tell, but the grill we cooked them on had an opening in the center of the grates so the dutch oven could be set inside of it. Totally want one of those now! We grilled the garlic bread around the pan while the mussels cooked and it was finished in maybe 8 minutes.
Each dish was paired with amazing wine, so for the Mussels we cooked with and sipped Cakebread Savignon Blanc. Tons of garlic, tons of butter- I was so happy!
We sat at our table and enjoyed our mussels while the dishes were cleaned up and the next prep tray was brought out. I really wish it was like that in my own kitchen! Let me just sit here and enjoy my wine while you clean up after me...
Grilled Caprese Nature Sweet Tomato Salad, Grilled Roasted Ratatouille stuffed in Nature Sweet Tomatoes and Grilled Lyonnaise Potato Salad was next. As I was chopping I mentioned how much I loved the knife that I was using. Chef Keith said "well then you're really going to like your gift bags"
I was SO excited that the knives we used were included! Totally didn't expect that and I can tell you, I've used it every day since I got back home. Joking with Louis while we were chopping, I said "I hope I remember how to make all of this" and, of course, that was already taken care of. Every recipe we made was typed up and included in our giftbags already. How thoughtful is that?!

I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but these steaks were MASSIVE
and the lobster tail on the side was absolutely divine! Grilled and basted with a lemon, garlic, basil butter - I ate the entire thing
Naturally, these courses were paired with the perfect wine
Chateau Gruaud Larose, a Bordeaux from France
Then came the cobbler. We smoked cherries, blueberries and cranberries in a grill basket with Cherrywood and charcoal, topped them with an oatmeal cookie type streusel and "baked" them on indirect heat in the grill while we ate our meal. Once it was done, it was topped with cherry vanilla ice cream and served with Dow's 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Aren't those the cutest little cast iron mini casserole dishes? Definitely want some of those now too!
What's in that small glass next to the port, you ask?
Oh, no big deal. Just a shot of Louis XIII Cognac.
I had no idea what it was until Louis told me a bottle costs around $2500
After a sip I carefully handed it over and let him enjoy the rest.
That was not the time for me to be clumsy and spill
After dessert, we were given a tour of the kitchens for the restaurant before we packed up all of our gift bags and headed back to the hotel.
From start to finish we were spoiled and treated like royalty. It makes me feel so grateful and lucky that this little hobby of mine, that I started on a whim 11 years ago, has led me to experiences like this. An unforgettable day that truly couldn't have been better!


  1. What an amazing experience!! Congrats!

    1. Thanks Biz!! The weather was crap, but the trip was so good we didn't even care :)


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