When it comes to manning the grill, Tim Love, a longtime chef and restaurateur, is all business. This born-and-bred Texan is known for his expert preparation of meat, fusing together classic Western flavors with modern ingredients and flavors. On the all-new summertime tournament Chopped Grill Masters (premiering July 14 at 10|9c), Love will takes his place among the roster of esteemed Chopped judges as a master of meat as he oversee the 16 grilling professionals who are trying to wow the panel with worthy barbecue fare.
Just in time for this weekend’s 4th of July party, FN Dish caught up with Tim, who’s also teamed up with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, which is celebrating a brand-new squeeze bottle, for his take on how to win the holiday cookout scene. From make-ahead favorites to his all-time favorite meat to grill, read on below to hear from Tim in an exclusive interview.
Come grilling season, which dish are you most looking forward to making every year? What do you crave most?
Tim Love: Nothing says summer like kebabs on the grill. There is just something about cubes of beef and veggies stuck on a stick over a flaming grill that makes me giddy. My go-to is Rosemary Steak Kebabs, because you can use the rosemary branches for skewers so it adds to the flavor.
Looking ahead to the 4th of July, do you have any tips for people who want to get a jump-start on grilling before the party begins? What dishes can be made ahead of time?
TL: Just like you preheat your oven, you should fire up your grill 30 to 45 minutes before you start grilling. If the grill isn’t hot, your food will sit too long and it will be overcooked and dried-out — not to mention, it eliminates any chance of creating those flavorful sear marks. Those marks are actually pockets for sugars in your food to caramelize for that delicious smoky grilled flavor we all love.
I like to prep a nice Roast Corn Avocado Relish. Roast corn ears over your hot grill, cut it off the cob and mix with some lemon juice, olive oil, diced avocados, red onion, chopped cilantro, [and] some diced red and jalapeno peppers, and season with some kosher salt. Always a crowd-pleaser!