What You Need To About The New Grill Dads Cookbook - Exclusive

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"Food Network is a starting line, not a finish line. A lot of people look at that the wrong way," The Grill Dads — Mark Anderson and Ryan Fey — told Mashed in an exclusive interview. Anderson and Fey are marketing whizzes, and they knew that after the conclusion of their two successful Food Network shows, "The Grill Dads" and "Comfort Tour," they had to keep going forward with their recipes and the brand they created together.

"If we want to make this a successful career that's bigger than a period on one of these shows," Anderson told us, "we're going to have to go out and build it for ourselves." They found a publisher (Page Street Publishing Co.) for their cookbook, and they resolved to make it the publisher's biggest-selling cookbook. But to do that, The Grill Dads were not going to write a safe, predictable cookbook; they were going to shake things up. 

Bristling a bit at the media's cliched depiction of suburban dads, Anderson and Fey see themselves as modern dads — a "Duck Dynasty" comedy duo who cook "banging food," as Anderson's wife once told them. "We're not this elitist kind of cookbook type of crew," Fey said. The title of the cookbook certainly shatters the image of a chef's oh-so-serious recipes: "The Best Grilling Cookbook Ever Written By Two Idiots." As The Grill Dads put it: "If those two idiots can do it, I can do it." 

Their true purpose, though, is to inspire first-time or seasoned grillers to cook elevated dishes on the grill. Actress Eva Longoria — who wrote the foreword to the cookbook — told them, "You guys are very thoughtful in the way you approach food, and it's different from the way you look."

Why The Grill Dads' cookbook is unique

Neither Mark Anderson nor Ryan Fey were formally trained at a culinary school, nor did they work at a high-end restaurant, nor have they won any culinary awards. The Grill Dads' recipes are aspirational and attainable to everyone because of who they are. The cookbook begins with basic techniques on different types of grills and encourages people to appreciate the grill they own and get excited by what they can cook on it. Their recipes are "foundationally understandable," as Fey put it. "But we have twists on everything in our own way."

Flipping through their cookbook, you'll be struck by the vast array — and drool-worthy photographs — of dishes that are entirely cooked on a grill. The Grill Dads' instructions are meticulous and peppered with their brand of humor. For example, in their recipe for Fancy Pants Ribeye Roast, they recommend "blasting 'Kashmir' on 11 and walking into the dining room in slow motion in serving."

As Anderson and Fey explained, the key to learning how to grill is failing and understanding what went wrong. Anderson has cooked the same cut of steak a hundred times to figure out the best way to cook it. "Creativity's not clean," Fey said. "You need to go out and try things and see if it works and laugh about it if it doesn't, and then do it better next time." 

The Grill Dads' cookbook is informative as it is entertaining; it explains the how and the why of grilling. What the Grill Dads want most for their book is for someone to read it, then create their own recipe and rush out to the grocery store for the ingredients. "That would be really heartwarming for us," Anderson said.

"The Best Grilling Cookbook Ever Written By Two Idiots" is available to order on Amazon. Follow The Grill Dads on Instagram and Facebook.