Diary of a Comfort Foodie - Father’s Day Grilling

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - by Kent Whitaker
- photo by Kent Whitaker

Happy Father’s Day weekend! I am blessed to be able to spend my father’s day weekend with my Pop. He is a great man and master of the grill. When I was growing up it was nothing for my dad to feed a house full of people using nothing more than a small charcoal Weber grill, ground beef and a bottle of whatever kind of sauce he could find in the fridge. A little salt and pepper, bun and fixings rounded out the perfect burger.

This year Ally and I will be joined by our son Mace as we travel to Nashville to visit my dad for Father’s Day. It will be a nice visit as I’ll get a chance to see my brothers as well. Scot, the middle brother of us three, became a master of the grill as well. The man can make some wicked dishes with seasoning combinations that rival anything Bobby Flay can whip up.

My oldest brother Ty served up his fair share of Teriyaki grilled chops over the years and loves a good barbecue joint almost as much as he enjoys Japanese cooking. The two go together. He’ll remind you that most decent Asian style restaurants feature a “grill master flipping seasoned chicken, beef, shrimp and ribs.” I see his point.

Ally and I have noticed that our son Mace has been bitten by the grilling and barbecue bug. On several occasions he attacked my grilling deck and shed with precision military skills taught to him by the Army. Instead of patrols and spotting targets he and his friends liberated assorted grills, tables, smokers, chairs, coolers and canopies for use at tailgates. Yes, Ally and I jumped in on a few in order to score a couple of pre-game burgers and beverages that we didn’t have to cook.

Grilling, barbecue and good chow comes naturally to the Whitaker family. So this year I decided that I would honor pops across the globe by offering up two quick and easy grilled dishes that the kids can cook for Good Ole Dad! In prior years I've featured pork, steak and burgers so this year I'm starting off with Shrimp.

Happy Fathers Day!

Grilled Cumin Chili Shrimp

3-4 pounds large shrimp - peeled & deveined

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons Cumin powder

Minced garlic

1 tablespoon chili powder

Several pinches sugar

1/2 lemon Juice

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Salt / Black Pepper & Crushed Red Pepper Flake to Taste


Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl besides the shrimp mix into a paste, adjust as needed. Add in shrimp and evenly coat. Cook on skewers or in a seafood basket or tray.

Orange Chili Chicken Thighs

4-6 chicken thighs

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup favorite barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

Dash of garlic powder

Dash of salt and pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or large zip close bag and evenly coat the thighs. Chill in the fridge for about an hour, maybe two.  Move the thighs around to make sure they are evenly coated. Remove from marinade before grilling. If you use the marinade as a baste make sure you heat it up or combine some of your favorite barbecue sauce with a few spoonfuls of orange juice.

Serve hot with your favorite sides.


(Kent Whitaker is a culinary writer and cookbook author living in Chattanooga. He is the winner of the Emeril Live BBQ contest and winner of an American Authors Association Gold medal. Mr. Whitaker’s books are in bookstores nationwide and are available online. Visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com or twitter.com/theKentWhitaker)




New Restaurant Stir Is Now Open At The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Stir, the newest Chattanooga restaurant concept by SquareOne Holdings, is now open at the Chattanooga Choo Choo in a refurbished space that meshes Chattanooga history with a modern, urban feel.  Stir's ‘New American’ menu offers bold, seasonal, local fare with a new-age spin, said officials. The ingredient-driven dining experience offers from scratch gourmet in a casual-hip ... (click for more)

FIVE To Provide Free Thanksgiving Day Feast

FIVE, the Northshore’s newest restaurant, will offer free meals on Thanksgiving Day to anyone who comes in.  From 11 a.m.-4 p.m., guests will receive a Thanksgiving feast that will include roasted ham, turkey and dressing, as well as other traditional dishes families throughout the South enjoy.    “This is one of our favorite days of the year," said Cris Eddings, ... (click for more)

Monica McMillon, 37, Shot And Killed In Alton Park On Tuesday Night

Monica McMillon, 37, was shot and killed in Alton Park on Tuesday night. The Chattanooga Police responded to the 3800 block of Highland Ave. on the report of a shooting. Once on scene police located one victim inside a residence. She  was struck by gunfire and  succumbed to her injuries on scene.   No suspect information is available at ... (click for more)

Judge Denies Motion By Walker County To Delay Closing Of Hutcheson Hospital

A bankruptcy judge in Atlanta on Tuesday denied a motion by Walker County, Ga., is asking a delay in closing Hutcheson Medical Center and laying off employees. Judge Paul Bonapfel said he appreciated the position of Walker County, but he said he would not interfere with the business decision made by the trustees appointed to operate the Fort Oglethorpe hospital. He also said ... (click for more)

A Thankful List

David Jeremiah said it best, that we have a tendency to concentrate on the things we don’t have rather than what God has already blessed us with.  Perhaps, he said, it is because there is not enough parchment available in this world to record all God’s bountiful blessings should we try to list them. This Thanksgiving let us gather our family close to us, whisper a prayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote DesJarlais Out!

There are two good bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives right now that are directly aimed at the sadistic villains who derive some sick pleasure out of torturing helpless Tennessee Walking Horses. They call it “soring,” where caustic materials are lathered into a horse’s forelegs and then wrapped in plastic so they’ll cook. Sometimes they use nails or screws ... (click for more)