I can't let our five-week Get Your Summer On grilling series end without looking at the season's newest gadgets. Here are a few I've found that offer both fun and function.
The Grillbot: As the name implies, this is a robot of sorts for your grill with three motors and replaceable wire brushes to get the grease and grime off the grates; just flip the switch and let it go. This dandy gadget debuted at the international housewares show in Chicago in March, but won't be available until August. Head to grillbots.com to preorder ($69.95) and you'll be the first on your block to get one.
GrillComb: With the GrillComb by Fusionbrands no longer will meat and veggies spiral around skewers. This is one of those things I'm amazed no one has come up with before. Meat and vegetables slide easily onto stainless steel teeth so you can flip without worry. They're 12 inches long, reusable and dishwasher safe. ($10.99 for a set of two).
Chicken Leg and Wing Rack: Fans of chicken parts will appreciate this one. Legs and wings slide into a metal contraption and hang just above the grate. No charring, just even cooking. ($19.95 at Sur la Table).
Playing with fire: Roger Mooking knows there's something primordial about the relationship between man and fire and he explores that relationship with his Cooking Channel series "Man Fire Food."
Now in its second season, the series follows Mooking, a seasoned chef and recording artist, as he traverses the country in search of the most inventive ways to cook with fire. The season opened in South Carolina where he searched for traditional whole hog barbecue and low-country oyster roasts. A future episode (the show airs at 8:30 p.m. Mondays) will take viewers to Hawaii for grub smoked in an underground lava pit.
Potluck with a purpose: Learn more about genetically engineered or genetically modified foods during a special dinner event sponsored by Food and Water Watch-Illinois.
Currently food manufacturers are not required to disclose if their products contain genetically altered ingredients. The group is pushing to require labeling and hope to inform people about the effort during a GMO-free potluck from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June, 6, at Chesapeake Commons, 1490 Geneva Drive, Geneva. Democratic state Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora and other local experts will be on hand to discuss the issue. To RSVP, head to the group's Facebook page, facebook.com/FWWIllinois
Let me entertain you: Or rather, let Heather Christo entertain you when she stops into Marcel's Culinary Experience Tuesday, June 11.
Christo, whom you might recognize from DIY Network's "Rescue my Renovation," will demonstrate recipes and sign copies of her new cookbook "Generous Table."
If you have any summer parties on the calendar you'll want a copy of this book full of tantalizing appetizers, entrees, snacks, drinks and desserts. The professional chef and entertaining diva breaks recipes down by season and by party theme, like a tea party shower, game night and open house brunch. I can't wait to take her Couscous Salad with Cherries and Feta and the Raspberry Peach Bars (from the Lake Picnic chapter) to Ravinia next month.
Christo will be at the store, 490 N. Main St., from 3 to 5 p.m. Books ($29.95) can be purchased in advance or the day of the event. The event is free, but registration is required. Stop in, or call (630) 790-8500.
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