Last week I was invited to attend a blogger event at the brand new Weber Grill Academy in Vaughan, Ontario. It is Canada’s first and only cooking school dedicated to the art and skill of grilling. I was looking forward to experiencing a very unique hands-on culinary experience that has been custom designed to suit grillers of all levels.
Weber Grill Academy classes are held year-round, are open to the public, and are always hands-on. In each class, you’ll get three hours of instruction from Grill Specialist and celebrity Chef Michael P. Clive, and when you’re done, you will eat your creation (and can take home your leftovers—if there are any!).
The Grill Academy is also available for private parties and corporate events, providing an exciting and truly one-of-a-kind culinary experience.
Weber Grill Specialist and Celebrity Chef Michael P. Clive was there to guide us through a hands-on grilling class so we could experience the different types of grills and grilling accessories just like a typical Grill Academy class.
Our night started off with this gorgeous fruit plate. Of course nobody wanted to ruin it because the watermelon grill was so amazing!
We were also presented with an amazing Brie, Blueberry and Candied Almond appetizer while we waited for everyone to arrive. I am now absolutely convinced that Brie is meant only to be eaten with blueberry sauces.
Our stations were fully prepped for us complete with ipads to read the nights recipes on.
I think I could get used to just showing up in my kitchen and having everything pre-measured and prepped for us. It not only makes it quicker but it eliminates the chances of doing something wrong.
One of the first lessons we learned in the Grill Academy was concerning lighting a charcoal grill. Pretty much the right way is to avoid using starting fluid as it can affect the taste of your food. Makes sense, but I would never have thought of that!
Our first recipe involved grilling some beautiful slices of pineapple. Just look at those grill marks!
They headed straight into a cast iron skillet filled with a topping also prepared on the grill. Any guesses as to what we made on the grill with this?
Yes! A delicious Grilled Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Just to skip ahead to the part where we got to sit down and make a meal out of our grilled creations, it was seriously the most amazing cake I’ve ever had. So moist and full of flavour, there is nothing I would change about it!
I think this was the most eye opening recipe of the night. You really can do anything on the grill that you can cook in your own oven. The secret to this cake is using indirect heat to create oven-like conditions inside the grill.
Of course cake isn’t all we cooked up that night.
Baked Asparagus is a big thing right now although it’s not the most appealing way to serve asparagus in my world. Grilled Asparagus though? Yes, please! Doesn’t it look amazing?
Even more amazing was the finished dish; Asparagus and Potato Towers with Tarragon Vinaigrette. Seriously incredible, especially with the creamy goat cheese to bring it all together.
Cedar-Planked Salmon is a classic grilling recipe but we took it a step further by dressing it with a honey-lime dressing. We started off by getting some grill marks on water-soaked cedar planks prior to grilling the fish on the planks. The fish was amazing and just perfectly cooked through so it was just perfectly flaky and almost butter soft.
Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce is one of my favourite appetizers so I was thrilled to see it on our menu for the night. It was so incredibly easy to put together there is pretty much no way this won’t become a regular thing at my house! Everything from the skewers of beef to the peanut sauce was prepared on the grill.
A much loved party please is chicken wings and we made life-changing smoked chicken wings with Orange-Honey Glaze. These actually tasted like camping, I couldn’t get enough!
It was an incredible night learning how to grills, meeting new bloggers and celebrities alike, and of course sitting down to eat it all at the end of the class. I had a really great experience with this hands-on class thanks to the dynamics created by Chef Michael P. Clive. I definitely would not hesitate to return for another grilling class and expand my skills and knowledge further!
The best part of the evening was definitely being given a brand new Weber Q 1200 grill in my favourite colour, Fushia, to test out at home. I’m going to be practising my skills over the coming months and I will be back with more details about the Weber Q 1200 grill along with my thoughts!
What is your favourite recipe to prepare on the grill?