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Who Inspired You?

Ask that question to anyone who grills and most of the time they'll say their Dad. For me, my Dad certainly did grill, but only on occasion. My memory tells me that he made his own chimney starter out of a coffee can, methodically punching holes around the edge using a can opener.

His own craftsmanship helped improve his grilling experience. That coffee can helped start the charcoal better than anything else. When my parents moved to Tennessee, he was giddy as he shared stories about the BBQ joints he visited and the smoky flavor that convinced him what good, honest BBQ truly was.

I want my kids to someday tell their own kids that their Dad was always grilling, always creative and always getting them involved. I felt connected to my parents through food and I want my kids to feel the same way.

The iconic Weber kettle started as an idea from a family man, George Stephen. Over the years he, his family and those around him transformed the world of outdoor cooking and elevated the Weber brand, inspiring everyone to do more grilling and experience life together in a backyard. We owe a lot Big George. His story, his name and his legacy stand the test of time.

I absolutely love Weber and the story behind it. I love teaching my kids about grilling because I feel it will equip them for being independent, responsible, confident and creative with food, not to mention being safe when cooking outdoors.

They will learn to use cookbooks and recipes as a guide and be innovative whenever it strikes them. It will also help them make conscious choices about what foods they eat and how food can be prepared. I hope the skills and information I share will help keep their desire for learning and cooking alive for years to come.

I have found that my kids latch on to the simple things like measuring ingredients and following directions, but also more complex things like flavor combinations and textures, tasting them as we go. They have their own mortar and pestle, people! In other posts you'll see some of the teaching tools I use with them.

Do you have kids? Maybe nieces, nephews or grandkids? Do you get them involved in cooking, in the kitchen or outside with the grill? If so, then bravo to you! If not, I urge you to try -- they will love the experience and love you for teaching them something new. Someday they will remember who inspired them.

To this day, each time I use my own Weber chimney starter, I think of my Dad's coffee can.

Grill on!