Today our burger blogging friend Rev Ciancio of Burger Conquest interviews chef Ryan Harkins of Los Angeles-based burger truck Grill 'Em Alll (twitter: @GrillEmAllTruck). Grill 'Em All are featured in Travel Channel's Food Wars episode on Los Angeles trucks (rerun this Wed. at 5 p.m. ET) and are contestants in Food Network's current series The Great Food Truck Race (Sun., 9 p.m. ET and Wed., 8 p.m. ET).
Name: Ryan Harkins
Location: Los Angeles via Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Chef/co-owner Grill 'Em All
How often do you eat burgers? Once a day. You don't get an amazing body like mine by working out and eating healthy! GROW YOUR BODIES!
Where did you eat your most recent one? Just ate at 8 oz last night—so damn good!
Cheese: American, cheddar, other? Tough one. I love all cheese...all?
Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup
Sesame-seed or plain? Plain.
Grilled, griddled, or broiled? Griddled, cause that's how we roll.
And how would you like that done, sir? Rare as f**k!
Would you do us the favor of describing your perfect burger? Juicy, rare, oozing with cheese, thin sliced pickles, fresh lettuce, ketchup....did I just order the Hannah Montana? Sacrilege! Hahahaha!
The hamburger is a food item with which most Americans have strong childhood associations. Do you remember your earliest encounter with this delicious dish? Of course! I'm from Cleveland—the second it gets over 50 degrees the grills don't stop till the first snow! My parents made some sick burgers. My mom likes hers well done though; I don't know where she gets that from, haha.
What's your favorite fast-food burger? In-N-Out, of course!
What topping or condiment, in your opinion, should never grace a burger? That's tough. I really push the button with my burgers and do crazy stuff, Hmmmm, maybe...hmmm, nope, I swear nothing is coming to my head now. I'll have to get back to you a month from now.
What's the most unusual burger you've ever eaten? (Or most unusual burger experience you've had?) Nothing really stands out as unusual.
What's the most overrated burger you've tried? Most underrated? Most overrated: I got one in mind, but I tell ya, I'm not here to make enemies. so I gotta pass on that one, haha. Underrated: 8oz. I effing love that place—the meat is so good!
For some crazy reason, you're going vegetarian. Where do you go for your final burger? Gotta say 8 oz again! Although me going vegetarian will never happen!
What was the worst and best part about the making of the episode of Food Wars? Worst: the lifeguard douche who shut down our total ripper of a beach party. Total boner kill. We had 80 maniacs crushing two kegs of bootleggers brewery beer off the truck. it was so amazing! Then that dude stopped us and threatened the show Best: that same ripper of a party pre-shutdown. And having the Rev out here in LA with us!
Would you have done anything differently? Won.
How did the truck get picked to be on Food Network's Great Food Truck Race? What was the worst and best part about participating in the show? You know, it was kind of a whirlwind; they just loved the truck, love us, and in less than a week we were told to start packin' cause we could be gone for 6 weeks!
Tell us about the contest you just had to name your Grandmother's BBQ Sauce. We had a contest on metalsucks.net that ended last week. it was a hard choice, but for the winner we picked "Mosh Pit Barbecue Sauce"—pretty awesome name.