How often can one say they got served by a bonafide celebrity chef? Well that's just what happened to me this weekend, when I got in line at The Alley at the Bite of Seattle and saw none other than Tom Douglas working over a wood-fired grill. If you're an outdoor chef, this is like a dream come true: to have a man who runs a dozen or so restaurants in a foodie city like ours take time out to support a charitable cause like Food Lifeline, but to also do so in a participatory fashion. He could have just stood at the booth and handed out portions, but he knows what we really want is a steak cooked by the man himself, and that's just what we got!
But to go one better, Tom was cooking his plate steak with his very own Rub With Love Steak Rub. Now, the folks here at the offices of OCS are huge fans of his salmon, chicken and pork rubs, and both our customers and the New York Times apparently agree 100%! But this was the first opportunity I'd had to taste the steak rub - and if looks weren't deceiving me, that was the only flavoring added to this dish. And let me say in no uncertain terms: it was delicious!! It's no wonder that all of the Rub With Love products have been flying off our shelves. When you can use one ingredient to completely change your dish for the better, it is well worth it!
Of course, cooking over a wood-fired grill doesn't hurt either. I've seen a lot of debate raging over charcoal vs. propane for grilling, but when it comes right down to it, when you can get some chunk wood going on the grill and do a nice cut of meet like a plate or flank steak over it, that makes all the difference in the world. Every major retailer carrying charcoal now carries chunk wood, so there's no reason not to try it out. We even take the shortcut of using charcoal as a primer to get the fire going, then throwing the chunk on top of it. That saves you a lot of headache when you're using those 15 minute firestarters or a chimney starter. If you're among the folks still using lighter fluid, be advised: you're ruining your meal, the environment and your health.
If you haven't already sampled some of Tom's rub, you really can't go wrong with any of them - and I can now say we've tried them all here at the OCS. Personally, I thought one of our best meals here at the office was ribs that were done up in the Smoky Barbecue Rub, but then again, I also ate two plates of ribs at the Bite... :)