The Grinder originally started as a written Q&A with folks who were involved with Burgers. This new version is produced by Chat Chow TV and is part interview, part roast and 100% fun. The 1st episode was filmed in my parent’s garage but now we’re filming in the office at my home. All guests do not know what exactly they are going be asked or be put through. But hey, those are the breaks if you’re gonna be on the Grinder.
“maybe I even thought there was indeed some small possibility of a “good time”–but I surely had reason to know better. I did know better. But I walked straight into the grinder anyway.” – A.B.
Approximately 2 years I wrote a story for edible South Florida (Pages 1-2 and 3) about the Frita Cubana. I interviewed Mercy Gonzalez and her husband Gino about El Rey de las Fritas for over 2 hours. We talked a bunch about the history of the Frita Cubana in Miami and how her late Dad had started cooking them originally in Cuba. It really was very fascinating. What really caught my attention was her passion for the business that her father started almost 40 years. She cares about her customers, about the product she sells and about doing everything just like her old man taught her. You possibly won’t meet a more honest and hard working restaurant (s) owner than Mercy Gonzalez. Oh and she’s also got a great sense of humor which is why I asked her to be on The Grinder.
I found out about George Motz through his documentary & book of the same name, Hamburger America. Hamburger America was and still is my bible when I’m visiting a city and looking for the best spots in town. George was one of the first people I emailed when I started the Burger Beast blog and from there we became friends. I introduced him to the wonderful world of Fritas and he was instantly in love with them. George was in town filming his new series on Travel Channel, Burger Land so he stopped into BB HQ for The Grinder.
I walked into Sakaya Kitchen in late May of 2010 not sure what to expect. It wasn’t until my second visit there that I met Chef Richard Hales. I fell in love with his food in particular the Bulgogi Burger and the Honey Orange Ribs. We talk about his growing empire but the persona behind the food is complex and very opinionated which makes for another great episode of The Grinder.
Lee Schrager, the director of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and I bonded over our mutual love of Patty Melts while we were having the worst Potato Pancakes of our lives. The next time we met he insisted that I have a Quiche, which I did (and now love). But it’s his love of Fried Chicken that really fascinates me as you’ll find out on this episode of The Grinder.
I first ate at Pincho Factory in November of 2010. I also met owner Nedal Ahmad that same day when he offered to put ketchup on my hot dog. Since he introduced himself as originally from Chicago that would be a big no-no in that city. That one comment has caused my never ending torment. The rapport I built with him over the last 2 years resulted in an invitation to be my first guest on The Grinder. Plus, his food is very good. Let’s not forget that.
Chef Brett Reichler (Bill’s Bar & Burger in NYC)
Jamie Deen of the Deen Bros.
Univision’s Ingrid Hoffman
SoBe & NY Wine & Food Festival Director Lee Schrager
Chef George Duran (of Ham on the Street fame)
Chef Michael Schwartz (Michael’s Genuine & Harry’s Pizzeria)
Chef Mike Saperstein (Charm City, Jefe Luchador & Rebel House)
Hamburger America’s George Motz
Grill ‘Em All Truck (Winners of the Great Food Truck Race Season 1)