Grilling God: Erik Bruner-Yang

May is Grilling Month at Food Republic, where we are offering pro tips from chefs and other well-known grilling gods.

Life is not sucking for Washington D.C. chef Erik Bruner-Yang. He's currently one of the city's hottest chefs, with a Taiwanese ramen shop and dumpling house (Toki Underground) that often sees waits of over two hours. Ramen does that to some people, and good for those people! Bruner-Yang is also planning to open Maketto, an Asian night market that will serve dishes from Cambodia and Thailand. There's even a planned retail component. But when we recently reached out to him, we had grilling on the mind — which is a fundamental component of Asian street food. So dude knows what he is talking about.

Do you prefer working with gas or charcoal?

Charcoal. If I had my preference I would grill everything on a yakitori grill with binchotan coal. [Also see: The 10 Robata Commandments]

What is the biggest mistake the home griller can make?

Not enough Budweiser.

What is your favorite cut of meat to grill?

Beef short ribs.

Can you defend vegetables on the grill?

Scallions and jalapenos all day. I've never been big on roasted peppers, but grilled vegetables are incredible.

What do you like to drink with your grilled meat?

Budweiser or Miller High Life.

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

We just did the most epic barbecue at the Sweetlife Festival with Woodberry Kitchen. We did grilled short ribs marinated with kroueng, grilled chicken hearts, chicken butt, chicken liver, local asparagus and scallions. We also had homemade sour sausage.

What bands are on your grilling soundtrack?

1960s psych rock and Johnny Powers.

Most useful piece of grilling gear you have purchased or used?

Fireworks to end the night.

Do you mess with veggie burgers?

No way, too much work. Grilling is about quick, fun, and being lazy. A veggie burger is too complex.

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