Traeger takes Italy
Grill Different is spreading the BBQ love throughout Italy and with Fabio Santo at the helm, they’re the biggest Traeger advocates and dealer in Italy. However, they don’t spend much time in the shop as they travel all over Italy and teach 200-300 Traeger and barbecue workshops a year, they’ve also started their own BBQ organization to host competitions. They’ve received such a positive response to wood fired cooking that they need to order 6 more crates of Traeger wood pellet grills to fill orders.
In preparation for the 2-day cooking event, Fabio took Chef Marco shopping at an awe-inspiring market where chicken, beef, pork and cured meats each had their own huge section. The shop had 3 cheese rooms with every cheese imaginable on display and temperature regulation by type of cheese. The amazing Italian grocery and restaurant distribution store had every last fish in the Mediterranean Sea available for purchase. In Italy, restaurants hand select food at shops like this, whereas in America, restaurants tend to order their supplies and food from a distributor that delivers.
Luca Picatti of Grill Different sets up dealer shows and events and runs the team that travels around the country giving Traeger demonstrations. He often has Claudio Le Rotisseur Nani, an Italian BBQ hero and guest cook came out to cook. Claudio has been cooking BBQ for years and won the brisket event in Italy’s biggest BBQ competition. He frequently cooks for these events and is so talented and really shows off the grills and their cooking capacity. The Traeger demonstration was held in a beautiful town 45 minutes outside of Bologna, Italy and over 30 Italian barbecue shops came from all around the country. Together, Marco and Claudio grilled, cooked, and showcased how to cook simple and delicious food over a wood fire.
Up first on the menu for our Italian BBQ dealers was roasted vegetables including zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and peppers. You can cook vegetables directly on the grill or in a grilling basket, grill them on the grate for beautiful grill marks, or try our vegetable basket to keep your grate clean. The Italians were surprised at how delicious vegetables taste cooked over a wood fired grill, they said that they hadn’t even thought of grilling veggies, they consider BBQ meat only. The dealers were amazed at how bright and delicious vegetables cook up, how great grill marks look, and that the smoke draws the natural flavors to the surface making them super flavorful.
Chef Marco stuffed chickens with Italian sausage, toasted baguettes, and demonstrated how to smoke cheese while Claudio pulled a beef roast that he smoked low and slow. They doused chicken thighs in BBQ sauce and Marco made a special Italian sausage roll. The dealers were enjoying tasting all of the food and stayed to talk about the grills for hours.
With the Pro Series grills and Advanced Grilling Logic, we’ve provided a wonderful solution to the ‘cooking on High’ issue. With the Digital Pro Controller, temperatures can be set and held within +/- 15 degrees F, no matter the outside temperature or how many times you open the hood.
Chef Matteo Tassi, known in Europe as the ‘Serial Griller’ lives and breathes barbecue. He has several BBQ cookbooks, his own cooking show, and is the President of the World Barbecue Association in Italy. Chef Marco had the opportunity to work with him at the dealer event on the second day. Chef Mateo and Chef Marco Niccoli whipped up Sausage Stuffed Italian Peppers and Sausage Bombs with pecorino cheese using peppers that were leftover from the day before. They found that they both liked to use what was on hand in the kitchen then enhance it with something special.
With all the success of the menu from day one, Chef Mateo Tassi and Chef Marco continued to amaze dealers with a smoked tomato salad, Asian-style chicken thighs, pork ribs, veal chops with the bone-in, and whole lobsters. Fabio, Mateo, and Marco shared their personal cooking secrets, tips, and tricks of the BBQ trade. Delicious food unites people from every country.
The event was a huge success with the dealers and they were excited about how convenient and simple it is to cook on a Traeger. The convection-style heating encircles food with flavorful smoke, adding a layer of flavor and cooking food evenly every time. As Italians are known for their wood fired pizza, it seems they’re soon to be known for cooking anything they can dream up on a wood-fired grill.