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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Gary Shares the Story of His Seasoning Blends
Try Out These Seasonings - They are Terrific

Gary's Seasoning
Gary's Original Seasoning Blend

I try out loads of seasoning, rubs, and barbecue sauces. Now and then one really stands out, and Gary’s Seasoning was one of those. In fact, my jar lives on the back of the stove along with the salt and pepper as one of my kitchen and grilling staples.

Not a Grilling Seasoning Specifically

Gary’s Seasonings (Original, Hot for Momma, and Too Hot for Momma) are not marketed exclusively for grilling, but they are all fabulous on grilled foods. I use them on grilled steaks, burgers, chicken, pork chops . . . and the list goes on.

Remember though that these are not rubs. Don’t lather up. Just use as you would a seasoning salt or something similar. A little will give you plenty of flavor.

How Did Gary Get Interested in Mixing Flavors

When Gary was a kid, his family would go camping, and he learned to enjoy cooking outdoors and playing around with food flavors. Then, like my own sons, Gary joined Scouts where he learned to cook and fancy up with flavors.

Believe me, Scouts like to play around with the camp seasonings. I remember a stew the guys made for family night that was too hot to eat, and I don’t mean temperature hot. I didn’t know you could even make potatoes and carrots taste like firecrackers. Thank goodness for the saltine crackers that night, or we would all have starved.

Perhaps I need to buy the local Boy Scouts some Gary’s Seasonings, but I probably shouldn’t send the whole container. Moderation has not been added to the Scout oath from the best I can tell.

Working His Way Up Through the Ranks

In 1971, Gary began working at Tiffany’s as a dishwasher and busboy. Steve Valdez, the head chef, saw something special in Gary and began tutoring him in the kitchen. It wasn’t long before Gary was cooking and serving 300 dinners on a busy night.

Gary’s specialties were meats, seafood, soups, and cheese bread.

On the Home Front

Some people leave work at work, but Gary and his entire family all enjoyed playing in the kitchen or out on the grill. “We are definitely a family that loves to cook and entertain,” says Gary. “My daughters enjoy baking, while my wife makes delicious traditional Mexican meals. He albondigas with my Gary’s Original Blend is fantastic.”

Speaking of Gary’s seasoning blends, he gradually began combining different flavors. After a while, really great chefs get tired of the regular stuff off the shelf.  

“I always had several different seasonings that I used while cooking and barbecuing,” says Gary, “But, it was not until seven years ago that I started mixing my own blend. First it was just for our personal use in the kitchen; then the family began requesting their own, and later I shared with friends and coworkers.”

Hey Gary - We Want Some Too!

Family and guests loved Gary’s Seasoning mix. I can see why. I was hooked when I opened the jar and smelled the seasoning. Wow. It’s just a really fabulous combination of flavors.

Gary says that it took about four years of “coercion from friends and family” before he finally decided to package and sell his flavor mixes. “My family has been supportive and diligent about getting Gary’s Seasonings off the ground,” he notes.

He started with his Original Blend and then added Hot for Momma and Too Hot for Momma. “We were looking for a name for the hot blend, and ‘Hot for Momma’ is catchy and oh so true,” says Gary. “My wife likes to use cayenne pepper on everything, and she has the sassy attitude that fits the bill.” 

What’s It’s Like Being in the Seasoning Business

“Cooking and barbequing are my passions, and passing on my seasoning blend to others is very rewarding,” says Gary. “I love to hear about all the different recipes and foods that everyone has been using the seasoning on.”

Gary uses his seasonings on lots of foods and dishes, but he says that he’d probably have to say that his favorite is to sprinkle grilled corn or fresh tomatoes with Too Hot for Momma. Simple enough there. So you don’t have to be a world class chef to enjoy Gary’s Seasonings though you can also go gourmet with these great spice combinations.

On my end, I’d be hard pressed to call a favorite use for Gary’s Seasonings. The Original blend is wonderful on my Southern cast iron fried potatoes, and I love the spicier blend on chicken wings (fried or grilled). Grilled Wok Chicken with Too Hot for Momma is another favorite around here. I can’t really name anything I’ve ever added Gary’s to that didn’t taste terrific. It’s just a super all round seasoning mix, and I’m glad Gary did decide to jar and sell his special blend of seasonings.   


  

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