Have you already explored my grilling basic how-to tips; my personal reviews and recommendations of grills, fuels, tools, and accessories; some of my favorite grilling recipes; and checked out my stock and custom drawings for all your backyard design needs?
If you just can't get enough, here's the place to learn more about me, about where and why I like to do what I do, and about how you can support and promote TGO!
Do you want to know how I got interested in grilling and backyard design, and where my experience comes from? Feel free to read more About Me.
Duluth, MN has been my home since 2007. Positioned right on the north shore of Lake Superior, at the westernmost point of the Great Lakes, Duluth is the world's farthest inland port that is accessible to oceangoing ships (sometimes called "salties"). Duluth is also the center of Minnesota's second largest metropolitan area, with a regional total of nearly 280,000 people when combined with neighboring Superior, Wisconsin (together the two cities are called the Twin Ports) and the surrounding counties.
A tourist destination for the Midwest part of the U.S., Duluth and its surrounding region have a great variety of outdoor recreation in all seasons — including hiking, biking, sailing and paddleboarding in the summer and skiing, snowboarding, and ice fishing in the winter — and yes, I will also grill outdoors even with multiple feet of snow on the ground!
I originally moved to Duluth for a job in the theater industry, but even though I am no longer in that position, the city's strong arts and culture scene is definitely part of what keeps me here, along with the kindness of the people, a great tradition of education, and the vast natural beauty!
Some of my personal favorite places to eat around Duluth!
You know how it goes at any big gathering that involves food and cooking — Despite the extra seating that has been carefully arranged in little conversation groups, family and friends somehow migrate to where the food is being prepared. The living room or dining room will be empty, and everyone will be in the kitchen because that’s where the action is.
In my experience, that same phenomenon extends into the outdoors. My family has hosted many backyard get-togethers, and inevitably people end up gathering around the grill. There is something magnetic about a grill and the “artist” working it. People want to be around it and to strike up a conversation while they watch the talents of the person grilling.
I think it’s terrific how relaxed people seem to get in these circumstances. Before you know it, the crowd around the grill is solving the world's problems or inventing the next prototype for some contraption.
I also believe there is something magical about the conversation around a fire pit. I swear, if the world’s leaders just sat around a fire to talk to each other, we could resolve a lot of issues. I may be a romantic, but I think I have had some of the best conversations of my life in that environment. The comforting woodsmoke smell, the warmth, and the flickering dance of the flames just seem to draw us in and allow us to relax. We feel a certain tranquillity, which allows us to express our thoughts better — and to be better listeners, too.
I can’t build fire pits for the whole world, but maybe we can all set aside some time and space to bring this type of open conversation and sense of community into our own backyards.
Check out our TGO brand merchandise, available through Redbubble. There are great options for the holidays or for any "just because" gift for your favorite grill enthusiast!