Words of Grilling Wisdom from Chef Brad Farmerie and Chef Todd Gray

Todd Gray says…

Anything can be grilled.

Grilling romane and frisee lettuce are great - they add a nice "bite of water crunch" to a burger. Brush with olive oil and season the lettuces with salt and pepper.

"Paint” a bit of butter on your meat with a grill brush toward the end of its cooking time to impart a rich flavor.

For the best ribs, marinate them overnight for tenderness, then cook them low and slow.

My favorite thing to grill is oysters in the shell - lay them on the grill and they steam right open - remove the oyster and dunk in melted butter - crazy good.

Todd’s basic grilling tips:

  • Invest in the grill brush.
  • Spray the grill with cooking spray.
  • It has taken me years to learn the most fundamental tip to save your grill - BUY THE COVER.

Brad Farmerie says…

About Grilling Cervena:

Cervena is perfect for the grill, as it is a super lean meat with lots of flavor. It also stands up well to the nice charred flavor that grilling provides and takes such a short amount of time to cook, leaving more time to the important task of relaxing and enjoying the weather.

I like to use the tenderloin or the loin (like fillet mignon). It is very tender, cooks quickly, and has great flavor. When I want to really impress my bbq crew, I like to slap a nice thick cut from the rack on the grill. It has a beautiful presentation and is unique enough to really turn heads, yet quick and easy to cook even for the culinary challenged.

Do not move the cervena around too much. Just place it on the grill until half cooked, and flip it to finish it. Many people like to keep moving meat around the grill and flipping it back and forth making it harder to tell when the meat is done and causing it to dry out slightly.

With Cervena, always err on the side of underdone instead of making the fatal error of overcooking it. With such high quality but low fat meat, it is best cooked rare or medium rare, when the meat is juicy and the flavor is rich and mellow.

About grilling other proteins:

I like to grill firm fish (tuna, swordfish, hamachi, salmon, and mackerel) which will stay moist, keep its shape, and is easy to remove from the grill. If you are cooking a flakey fish (snapper, cod, etc) keep the skin on and cook it skin side down. This will cook up crisp and delicious and make removing it from the grill an easier task. Alternatively, place a piece of oiled aluminum foil over the grill and cook the fish directly on top to avoid watching your pricey piece of fish slide through the grating and into the coals.

Chicken thighs are great on the grill – much better than breasts, which have less flavor and dry out so easily. I always cook chicken with the skin on to protect the meat and keep the juices in. You can always remove it before eating if you desire, although there is some guilty pleasure to savoring crispy chicken skin straight off of the grill.

A funky alternative to the traditional grilling is to throw mussels, oysters, or clams straight on the grill. When the shells open take them off of the grill and into a bowl and splash with lime juice, chopped chili, picked cilantro, and olive oil for a simple (yet impressive) finger food that takes only a few minutes to make.

Brad’s Basic Grilling Tips


  • Always start with a nice hot grill. This could take up to 15 minutes and is well worth the wait. A grill that isn’t hot enough will draw out the moisture of whatever you are cooking and not give the proper charring giving a dry, flavorless result.
  • Always brush an item with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before placing on the grill. This will develop the natural flavor of meat, fish, or vegetables while they cook.
  • A big tip about cooking meat- always “rest” it after cooking it. Remove the meat from the grill and let it sit in a warm place for about 8-10 minutes per pound of weight. A classically incorrect scenario is to cut into your perfectly cooked steak and have the juices run out all over your plate. It was a nice juicy steak, but now the juice is on your plate instead of in the meat. Resting meat lets the juice sink back into the fibers of the meat and keeps the moisture in your steak where it belongs.