Happy, Healthy and Hearty BBQ in 2015

Courtesy of http://www.bbqcateringconfidential.com


Fresh Grilled Tuna with Poki on Romaine/Kale Salad.

Yes, it is that time once again to reflect on another year gone by. As always, the world of BBQ continues it’s impressive growth in many ways. We have seen BBQ/Grilling related TV shows thrive on Food Channels, and in unexpected places like Travel TV. Online BBQ Blogs continue to grow in both popularity and with a wider variety of material available on the info super-highway. Both established and new forms of Social Media continue to create new bridges for BBQ Enthusiasts throughout the world.

#MickBrown #FrankenFood #FoodTruck

Promoting HEROIC! while visiting the Frankenfood Food Truck in Los Angeles.

For me, the Year 2014 has been a game-changer on many fronts. I had the opportunity to cater many events for a nice variety of new clients, along with old favorites. My BBQ Rub company expanded to offer a healthier alternative- HEROIC! Rub, which has been very well-received. I also had the chance to attend my first Gluten Free Expos and meet some of the exciting leaders of this Food Movement. I competed in my first-ever television Cooking Competition on Spike TV, and was featured in their humorous online video. Finally, had the pleasure of checking out BBQ in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), Toronto (Canada), as well as new spots here in Los Angeles.

A Guest at Catered BBQ Wedding takes small servings of Smoked Waygu Steak and Salmon, leaving plenty of room on the plate for Salad and Grilled Veggies.

A Guest at Catered BBQ Wedding takes small servings of Smoked Waygu Steak and Salmon, leaving plenty of room on the plate for Salad and Grilled Veggies.

In this New Year, I hope to work on-

1. Showing More Appreciation– Sounds simple, but the busier I get with ongoing projects, the simpler it gets to just put out Blog after Blog. This year I will make a bigger effort to keep up with reading fellow Bloggers, as well as staying in contact with followers of my Blogs.

2. Celebrate Healthier Eating– There is always a place in my heart (and my tummy) for the Traditional BBQ we grew up with, even with the fat and sugar. However, it is always my mission to find satisfying alternatives that offer big taste, with fewer Calories. I regularly offer Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Recipes. Will do my best to make them even better.

3. Do Diabetic BBQ– You haven’t heard of Diabetic BBQ? Sounds delicious, huh? Due to family reasons, I will be adding Diabetic-Friendly BBQ Recipes in the upcoming year. Though new to me, it isn’t too far from what I already do- grill with Superfoods whenever possible. These Recipes will consist of Veggies on 1/2 the plate, 1/4 with a healthy Starch and 1/4 with a lean Meat (protein). The big difference is making Meat the “Side Dish”. No more loading my plate with various BBQ Meats and Cheesy Potatoes (or Macaroni), saving a little room on the side for creamy Cole Slaw.

4. Share More of Your Recipes– Over the past year, I have had the privilege of making contact with many talented Food Bloggers, as well as Home Cooks. A few of their Recipes already appear on my blogs/websites, but there are so many more to share. You will be seeing them in the upcoming months.

For a twist, try Grilling your Tomatoes and Peppers before added them to your Sandwich, Salad or favorite Recipe.

For a twist, try Grilling your Tomatoes and Peppers before added them to your Sandwich, Salad or favorite Recipe.

That is it for now. I am looking forward to having more exciting and delicious adventures in the New Year 2015. Hope the same for you. Of course, BBQ will continue to grow and thrive in all-new ways. Wishing you the Best. Until next time, Eat and Be Well.


Mick Brown is a Food Blogger/Purveyor based in Los Angeles, with over 30 years BBQ and Grilling experience. Aside from Caterer and Private Grilling Instructor, his passions are creating Easy Grilling Recipes and searching for the World’s Best Flavors. General Manager of Tastee BQ Grilling Co. and the new California Gold BBQ Rubs. He is also author of web blog “BBQ Catering Confidential” and the serial “The Adventures of Tastee BQ.” Email- Mick@TasteeBQ.com

California Gold BBQ Rubs to Debut “HEROIC!” in San Diego at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest

California Gold BBQ Rub Blog/Recipes

Show Dates May 3-4, 2014. Over 4000 Attendees are Expected at Expo.

HEROIC! BBQ Rubs HEROIC! Spice and Herb Blend comes in 2.5 oz and 5 oz. sizes

PRLog (Press Release) – Apr. 28, 2014 – SAN DIEGO — In a new twist to what promises to be a very active National BBQ Month in May, California Gold BBQ Rubs (CGBR) has been offered a last minute spot to join some of the nation’s most popular Gluten Free Food Brands in San Diego next month. The Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest will be held from May 3rd to 4th, 2014 at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, starting at 10am both Saturday and Sunday. The event is open to the public and will have Free Food Tastings, Live Recipe Demonstrations and Seminars from some of the country’s top Gluten Free Experts.

Ironically, CGBR recently launched a company crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo…

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Is Indiegogo a “No No?” My Journey Thus Far… or “A Beginner’s Adventures in Crowd Funding”

The Adventures of TasteeBQ

By Mick Brown



Oops I did it again… To recap, I am somewhat new to Blogging and am definitely a Freshman to the world of Crowd Funding and to Indiegogo.com. It could just be “the jitters”. However, completing the list of suggested Tasks to properly launch an Indiegogo Campaign is about as doable of making your video go Viral. Not to mention, my “day job” is getting a new product out for Memorial Day and preparing the Catering company for BBQ Season.

My jaws are so wide open, I can’t even bite. Let alone chew all of it. [A deconstructed recipe for “Biting off more than you can chew.”] With 2 Weeks in and 17 Days to go, here are the highlights of: 

“A Beginner’s Guide to Crowd Funding (on Indiegogo)”:

1. Software is Easy to Use- If you can do WordPress, the software is quickly usable to set up the Pages…

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Ham It Up! With Superfoods for the Holidays- Easy Recipe for Orange Smoked Ham

The Adventures of TasteeBQ


Image Smoked Ham with Raspberry Orange Glaze is perfect for Holiday gatherings, Brunch or Buffets.

Sounds strange doesn’t it? Turning Ham into a Superfood… You may be surprised to hear that many of the delicious Spices that we traditionally use with Ham are thought to pack extra nutrition. Cinnamon is used as a Medicine is some cultures for it’s antiseptic and blood healing properties. Nutmeg and Allspice are also supposed to good for pain relief. Cloves are said to be endowed with high levels of natural antioxidants.  The Fruit we use for Glazes can also be of the Superfood variety: Pomegranate, Orange, Raspberries, Cranberries, Pineapple, etc…

Ok let’s face it. Ham will never be considered a Superfood. But it tastes Super Good to those of us who can eat it. Because many Hams already come pre-cured with plenty of Salt, there is no need to add a lot to your seasonings. Also, by marinating it in…

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BBQ Grilling in Puerto Vallarta Pt. II The Blue Shrimp

By  Mick Brown

[Last Dispatch written on Monday 2/17/14]

#portugueseshrimp #blueshrimppuertovallarta

Smoky Portuguese Shrimp at The Blue Shrimp Restaurant on the Beach.

Sadly, my time here in Puerto Vallarta Mexico is winding down. Last night’s wedding was a huge success. Congratulations to the happy Newlyweds Jacki and Andre. They would have easily won Wedding Wars on TLC. The Catering staff of Casamagna Marriott Resort and Spa, led by Supervisor Carlos, did an amazing job with the food. There wasn’t much from the Grill, but I’ll attach some gratuitous delicious Wedding Food pictures at the end of the article, anyway.

#theblueshrimp #martin

The Blue Shrimp owner Martin’ mixes drink at table while nearby Server makes a fresh Caesar Salad table side.

Before I toured the Grills around La Playa De Los Muertos, we stopped for a “snack” at the Blue Shrimp Restaurant. Mission Impossible. The place is popular among tourists for it’s name and excellent location. Though commercial and kitschy, the decor bespeaks of more cleanliness than you’ll find at almost any other restaurant in the area. As a Certified Professional Food Safety Manager, I see the California Department of Health would have a Field Day writing citations on the Beaches of Puerto Vallarta.

#chocolatebananamartini  #blueshrimprestaurant

A special request from the bar “L.A. Mick’s Choco-Banana Martini” (?)

After being seated by the Hostess at The Blue Shrimp, we were left alone at the table for quite awhile. Finally, we were greeted by the restaurant’s owner Martin’, who seemed relatively young for such a big establishment. He strongly suggested the menu favorites Portuguese and Coconut Shrimp. The smallest you could get was a “1/4 Order” so we decided to sample them both. While waiting, they allowed me to request an experiment of making a Martini with two of my favorite flavors, Chocolate and Banana. It came out delicious and we requested that that if they put it on the menu, it should be called the “L.A. Mick Choco-Banana Mix”, or something like it. We’ll see…

#coconutshrimp #blueshrimp #puertovallarta

Coconut Shrimp at The Blue Shrimp Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta.

Keeping it real, The Blue Shrimp is the subject of mixed reviews on Trip Advisor. Some people say it is under par and overpriced, while others say it’s the best food ever. As you know, it is always a matter of personal taste and your idea of reasonable value. Trying the dishes, I could see both points of view. The earlier comment about a snack at Blue Shrimp being “Mission Impossible” was regarding the big filling portions of their minimum sized dishes. Maybe it’s my bad, I didn’t realize we were ordering entrees that came with under steamed Rice and Veggies.

#coconutshrimp #blueshrimp #puertovallarta

A closer view of the Coconut Shrimp, with Dipping Sauce.

“The Good” was the Jumbo Shrimp- 6 per Order- all came out tasting nice and fresh. “The Great” was the presentations. The Bacon wrapped Shrimp was served on a half Mango Plank, with a torch burning for extra drama. The Coconut Shrimp looked  ginormous, plated around a freshly cut Coconut Bowl, filled with Dipping Sauce.  So far, so good. The “Not-So-Great” (or Bad) was the breading. I can see how some would have issue with the Coconut Shrimp Batter, which was an inch think on some parts. It is hard to find fault with too much Bacon. But the super thick slices on the Portuguese Shrimp were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The flavor did seem to dominate the fresh Shrimp. Maybe the dish should of been called “Thick Bacon Wrap with Shrimp”.

#BeefSataywithCucumberSauce #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

Gratuitous Wedding Food Photos (#1)- Beef Satay with Cucumber Sauce. The one that got away- didn’t get one before it disappeared.

With a little bit of food e-arranging, we were able to enjoy the best parts of the Blue Shrimp dishes, and leave the less desirable components on the plates. Still left full and satisfied. Next time we will do Tour of What’s Grilling on the Beach in Puerto Vallarta. Here are those Weding Food Pics I promised. Until next time- Eat and Be Well.

Mick Brown is a Food Blogger/Purveyor based in Los Angeles, with over 30 years BBQ and Grilling experience. Aside from Catering, his passions are creating Easy Grilling Recipes and searching for the World’s Best Flavors. General Manager of Tastee BQ Grilling Co. and the new California Gold BBQ Rubs. He is also author of web serial blog “The Adventures of Tastee BQ.” Email- Mick@TasteeBQ.com

#tomatomozzarellaskewer #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

Tomato Mozzarella Skewers were served with fresh Basil Dipping Sauce at the Marriott Casamagna Resort and Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

#salmontomatosauce  #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

You can see all the great seasoning on this delicious Salmon with Tomato Onion Ragu.

#weddingcatering #chickenbreast #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

The Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts were amazing with a light Basil Sauce.

Spice Up Your Health

Spice Up Your Health

Last year, we spent much time talking about how POWER Rub is delicious and easy to use. In 2014, I hope to make more effort to discuss the beneficial aspects of adding certain Herbs and Spices to your diet. Six of the ingredients in POWER are on this Top Ten list. If you don’t get it from us, hope you will get them somewhere. Eat and Be Well.


Dining in New Orleans- ROOT Restaurant: Taking Food and Fun to the Next Level

The Adventures of TasteeBQ

By Mick Brown

As Caterers, we can’t get all of our inspiration from Googling Recipes. Sometimes we need to travel around, in search of new flavors and techniques. Without creative new Chefs, food would be pretty boring. ROOT Restaurant in New Orleans is a perfect example. Thank you to Michael W. DeVidts, a chef from New Orleans School of Cooking, for recommending that I try ROOT during my current visit to the Big Easy. Tomorrow, I will have a chance to Sous Chef for Michael during one of his ever-popular Cooking Classes. Will share more details a future blog.

During our visit, the Chef at ROOT sent several complimentary amuse bouches, or tasting plates. Didn’t get to meet him in person, so I can’t credit who was cooking that Thursday night. Can tell you that Phillip Lopez is the owner and Executive Chef of ROOT, so we send him our “Thanks”…

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