Grilling God: Pascal Godé

I'm gonna admit it: some of our Grilling Gods are merely really great chefs who happen to know much more than us mere mortals about how to work with fire. Then there's actual Grilling Gods, and we're starting the week with an über-GG, Pascal Godé, Food Director and Executive Chef of Alisal Guest Ranch, an actual cattle ranch in Solvang, CA, in Santa Maria BBQ country.

So what makes him a true god of the grill? Every Wednesday in the summer, Godé hosts a BBQ for 300 guests. And each March, he partners with Frank Ostini, owner and grillmaster from the Hitching Post II, to host the BBQ Bootcamp (which is where you'll find us next March, now that we know about it). Here's the wisdom Godé is willing to impart:

Do you prefer working with wood, gas or charcoal?

We prefer using local red oak, as is the tradition for Santa Maria BBQ but if that's not available we could resort to charcoal.

What is the biggest mistake the home griller can make?

Fire not hot enough and moving or sliding meat or fish too often. Let it form a crust or it will stick to the grill.

What is your favorite cut of meat to grill?

Ribeye or skirt steak. It's all about flavors.

What are the best vegetables on the grill?

Peppers, onions, eggplant, asparagus, fennel, squash, mushrooms — these all compliment our style of grilling and go well with Central Coast wines, too

What's the best way to cook vegetables on the grill?

Marinate first in olive oil and spices and then toss them right on the grill.

What do you like to drink with your grilled meat?

A Central Coast Syrah or a dry rosé.

What's the most epic barbecue you have ever thrown, or been to?

The Saturday night BBQs during our annual BBQ Bootcamp. All the guests grill their own meats (with our supervision, of course) and use the spice rubs they custom blended earlier that day. We have Robert Asser from Newport Meats there to speak and we invite our local winemaker and brewmaster friends to come pour and eat with us. It's a great way to share the Santa Maria BBQ tradition.

What bands are on your grilling soundtrack?

It's all about rock & roll oldies.

[All Grilling Month coverage on Food Republic]