Thursday, April 14, 2005

George Foreman grilling

I spent the day at a Food Network shoot of an upcoming show, (I am not making this name up) the Next Grilleration George Foreman College Grill-Off.

Four teams of three university students (Duke, Georgetown, U of Missouri - Columbia and Pepperdine) met under the blue Malibu skies at the insanely gorgeous Pepperdine campus to create four-course meals using the George Foreman grill, toaster ovens, two electric burners, blenders and that's about it.

George Foreman himself was there, and can he talk grill! He makes it sound like all he and his wife do is cook on it all the time. He is a brilliant spokesman because he sounds like he really, really believes in the thing and loves it to pieces.

Quiz: How many GF grills have been sold worldwide so far?
a) 2 million
b) 10 million
c) 17 million
d) 70 million
Answer at bottom of the post.

The students came up with some pretty creative little GF Grill meals - crab cakes, seafood quesadillas, pancetta-wrapped asparagus, grilled pineapple. It almost made me want to rush out to Target and get me one.

One of the teams were hotel & restaurant management majors from U of Missouri. The Pepperdine students were nutrition majors (and the only team to grill tofu). And the two other teams come from "Grilling Societies" - campus social clubs for people who like to barbecue.

The guy from Salton, the people who make the grills, said the new ones are coming out soon with 5 interchangeable plates so you can make waffles, flat things, etc.

The answer is d) 70 million. I didn't ask George Foreman how much his cut was, but I think he is doing okay. He looked happy, anyway, with his gorgeous daughter taking the shine off his head with a makeup brush, posing for photos with people from the crowd, and talking up his grill.

I hung out with him for a little while, asking the usual reporter-type questions which he patiently answered. No, I did NOT ask about naming the kids all the same thing ("George Foreman'). Remember, the man was once heavyweight champion of the world and probably still packs a mighty punch.

He seemed a little bummed that people now know him more for the grill than for boxing, and lit up when I told him how much my co-worker Robert idolizes him. He happily wrote an elaborate and personalized autograph for Robert on the back of a reporter's notebook.


emily said...

My husband got one when he started college and I think we've used it once in the past 2 years. Great for those on the go but use is definitely limited, especially for veggies like us and probably for creative cooks of any persuasion.

Rachael said...

I am athe worst kind of food snob. Terrible really, but I have to say the times I have used that grill I have been nothing but impressed. My 91 year old grandmother used hers every day to make a nice little lamb chop or a bit of steak, and if you have to whip out 100 hamburgers for a big party, it really does the trick. I personally dont have one, but I think they rock. The idea of interchangable plates seems brilliant to me too.

Cate said...

Hey Suebob - sounds like you have a pretty terrific job. FoodTV Network shoot? I woulda loved to be there. :) I put up a link for you on my blog - love yours!

Suebob said...

Thanks for the link, Sweetnicks. I am a journalist by trade and, though I spend a fair amount of time covering stuff that isn't a lot of fun (sewer pipe breakage! Road construction!), I try to weasel my way into anything that is food-related whenever I can.