Dale Talde isn’t team charcoal or team propane. He is, however, team get-out-and-grill, so when Tastemade approached him about hosting a new grilling show for the streaming service, his response was, “Have you seen my Instagram?” The result of the partnership is All Up In My Grill, which premiered June 30th. The show is for everyone, whether you’re an experienced griller with a sweet backyard setup, sharing a communal grill in your neighborhood, or heating up a grill pan in your apartment. Beyondish talked with Talde about the versatility of the grill, what he brought to the show from his experience as a contestant and judge on Top Chef, and more. Fun fact: the first thing he purchased for his new home was a grill.
Do you need to be a master griller with chimneys full of charcoal to execute the recipes on All Up In My Grill?
Not at all. Hard charcoal or briquettes would only make them taste better, but the recipes are really meant to be used on anything. We use a gas grill to be accessible. It’s not entry level if a recipe calls for two cords of wood. We really wanted people to make these. I think they’re delicious. I made all the recipes and I think they’re fantastic.
Are there a lot of things in the series you can adapt to indoor grill pan cooking?
One hundred percent. We actually treated the grill like an extension of your home, so we cooked on it with a sauté pan, we closed the top and basically made ovens, and I just think with a little bit of tweaking you can take a majority of these recipes indoors. You want to make ribs? Wrap them in foil and steam roast these ribs and then finish them on the grill. If you steam roast those ribs in your apartment, take the cover off, glaze them and fire them in your broiler, it would be fine.
You talk about using the grill for all these purposes. Is it a mindset or do people not realize you can use a grill in all these ways?
I think it’s a little bit of both. People like to make what’s easiest. A grill is just a separate part of your kitchen; it just happens to be outdoors. I think people need a little bit of motivation. People need to be inspired, and hopefully that’s what this show does.
Are there any grill specific tools you recommend?
No, absolutely not. I think anything that’s specific to one thing is useless in a kitchen. You need to set up your grill where you’re grilling just like you set up your kitchen. Bring out that container that has all your spatulas in it, have a garbage can, have a roll of paper towels out there, all that stuff that helps you be more motivated to cook.
What are good jumping-in dishes for grilling, beyond burgers, for those hesitant to dive into the fire?
I have a recipe on the show for a lobster boil that is as easy as it gets and it’s really impressive. I think that recipe will help you understand that a grill is just a heat source and it actually can be an oven or it can act like a slow cooker or it can act like a burner on your stovetop. It’s basically one of those dump and stir recipes: put everything in a pot, put it in a really hot grill, crank it and when the top looks done, the whole thing is done. Pour it out and enjoy.
With that recipe, what is the difference that the grill makes?
It serves two purposes. If you want to do that on the stovetop, fine, the house is going to get super hot though. In this application, the grill does impart this roasted, toasted flavor, but it’s really for those people in the dead of summer saying it’s too hot to cook inside. This is what you can make outside.
What did you learn being on both sides of Top Chef that you brought into this endeavor?
You are only restricted by your imagination. If you have fire, you can cook, and even if you don’t have fire, you still can cook. You just gotta figure it out. There’s just a get-it-done attitude in restaurants. If you need to do it, it will get done. I think anybody who’s been on that show will tell you there’s a push. When you push your limitations you start to find out things about yourself that you didn’t know. With this show it was the same way: get past the hot dogs, get past the steak and a piece of chicken and fish and let’s start to cook and have fun and be creative on the grill and push the limits of what you thought could be done on the grill.
What did Top Chef teach you about being on camera?
Things that I’ve enjoyed the most have felt very natural and not been super produced. Have a conversation and tell people why they should be doing this. I feel like Jamie Oliver really changed food TV: how it was shot, how we walk through recipes. It wasn’t the dump and stir. When you saw Jamie Oliver, there was a real connection to the food. Not everything had to be perfectly diced, you don’t have to have the perfectly clean cutting board. There’s a confidence to it. I just tried to be myself. I tried to make it as natural as possible. I think that’s when you make the truest connections through this type of show.
What should people grill more of?
It’s my favorite thing to grill, but I know it’s not super easy: I like making a real crisp, almost like a paella crispy rice on the grill. I do a little cheat mode action and blanch the rice like pasta to kick start the hydration.
But vegetables to be honest. It’s almost like terroir: things that grow together taste good together, things that grow at the time when you’re grilling taste good grilled. Zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, pepper leaves, all those things that grow in the summer are gonna taste good on the grill.
What do you want viewers to take away from the show?
I just hope that people watch it and get inspired. I don’t care if you follow the recipes. If you’re inspired to cook outside, that’s better. Just go out and cook. The more grilling you do the better cook you become.
All Up In My Grill premiered June 30th on Tastemade. New episodes will air on Tastemade’s streaming network, available across platforms like YouTube TV, Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, The Roku Channel, Comcast Xfinity X1, and more. All Up In My Grill will also be available on demand on the Tastemade+ app. This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.
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