Blaine Kellermeier

Rockford’s ACE high royal flush BBQ boot camp

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL “It was awesome”, said Rockford master plumber Blaine Kellermeier after the second of two summer grilling seminars, complete with sit-down dinners, which were hosted by Pete Kruer of Rockford’s ACE Hardware. “I consider myself a fairly accomplished backyard griller,” continued Kellermeier, “but I’ve managed to learn something new while attending each of these classes.” Last week’s second “ BBQ boot camp”, held in the beautiful ACE gardens adjacent to the hardware store, focused on pork butts and briskets. As with the first class, real BBQ experts were on hand to bring everyone in attendance to the next level. Presiding over the class were radio show hosts “Barbecue” Bob Nurmikko and Randy “Jop” Joppie, aka “The Grillin ’Guys”. Also instructing was Rob Russell of Kansas City’s Ace of Hearts Barbecue Specialties. Russell has a reputation of being the top expert on BBQ grilling in the nation. Highlighted during the evening, was pork butt and brisket preparation – especially trimming techniques to remove excess fat. Although one may, there is no reason to leave all of the fat on a brisket. Smoke and rubs will not penetrate it and it will take more time to fuel and cook the brisket with all of the fat intact. In the end, you are not going to eat the fat – you are going to cut it away and discard it. Classmates learned, especially when it comes to smoking, the necessity of placing meats that are as cold as possible on the grill. Meat will only take up smoke between 40 degrees F. and 140 degrees F. If you start with meat at room temperature, you will not end up with a desired perfect smoke ring. Much time was spent stressing the importance of using premium natural hardwood lump charcoal and maintaining proper temperatures during the entire process – before, during, and after. Tenderizing techniques and methods, which included marinades and a hand-tenderizing tool called a ‘Jaccard’ were discussed and demonstrated. Injection methods and ingredients were also touched on. As with any large roast, we were reminded it is important to let a brisket rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing so the juices inside have a chance to redistribute. We could go on […]

Business leaders recognized at Chamber dinner

February 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Keynote speaker describes huge growth opportunities in store for Rockford Photos by TOM SCOTT The cost of the “Taste of Rockford” buffet at the annual Rockford Chamber of Commerce ceremony was likely the best dining deal members’ have ever experienced. The evening’s entertainment, included election of board members, an awards ceremony recognizing Business of Distinction and Business of the Year, and a humorous Year in Review. The restaurants who provided food and beverages included D&W Fresh Market, the Corner Bar, Jody’s Restaurant, Herman’s Boy, Epic, Polly’s Passions, the Gristmill, Twisted Vine, and Grill One Eleven. Dad’s Tents provided the linens and centerpieces for the tables. Floral arrangements were provided by Polly VonEschen. Andy Tidey, of the Corner Bar and Chamber Board member, announced he is leaving Rockford and moving his family out west. Businesses and individuals received recognition in a variety of categories with Blaine Kellermeier of Kellermeier Plumbing, Inc. receiving the highest honor of Business of the Year. Other winners were Dan Biemer in the new category of Networker of the Year. Lynda Nance and Polly VonEschen tied in the category of Volunteer of the Year. Beth Altena, Managing Editor of the Rockford Squire newspaper was struck speechless at the announcement that the newspaper had earned the Business of Distinction Award in the Community Service category. Joel Koch of Bluegrass Promotional Marketing was recognized in the category of New Business. Keynote speaker Mike Guswiler, Executive Director of the West Michigan Sports Commission, touted the economic benefits of the sports complex which will be built in Plainfield Township off Ten Mile Road. He said there was “no better community than Rockford” for the sports venue. Hosting baseball, softball, cross country skiing, archery and more, the complex will be a boon in visitor spending and an economic engine for the greater Rockford area. Guswiler said a complex of similar size in a town comparable to Rockford made a huge difference in economic vitality. He said the sports complex there spurred the growth of three hotels to fifty hotels with an eighty-five percent occupancy rate. “It’s all about economic growth enhancing our quality of life.” The annual meeting, open to members of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, was held at the American Legion banquet facility, 330 Rockford […]

Members honored at Chamber dinner

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford Chamber of Commerce members and guests met for a gala evening of honors and dining on Friday, January 29, at the Chamber’s annual meeting and awards ceremony. The guest speaker was Dan Gaydou, publisher of the Grand Rapids Press and a Rockford resident. Gaydou offered what he called “a brief synopsis of a serious topic” and spoke of the current conditions in Michigan. “Facing reality, we have to admit we are in terrible shape in Michigan,” he said. On any list of economic vibrancy, the state ranks low, yet Michigan has a lot going for it. Michigan is the second highest boating state, has very giving residents, and is rich in innovation and new technology. “I see a lot of things going on that are good, but I do believe our political system is broken,” he stated. “We have to get back to the business of people finding jobs.” Gaydou said our state’s industrial revolution has become a technical revolution and the days of low tech, high-pay jobs are gone. “We can’t live in denial. We have to start to learn to compete in this environment. I’m sick and tired of hearing that our kids are not as smart as the kids in Japan, Europe, India, China. Our urban school districts are failing our children.” Gaydou said entrepreneurship is the heart of development in this area, and that small business may be the future of the economy. He mentioned changes at the Press, symptomatic of changes in the state, saying it is “going through a tremendous amount of upheaval.” “Is it going to be fine? Yes. Is it easy? No.” Gaydou said. With 60 legislators to be term-limited out, Gaydou said, “Half the elected officials in the state could be new people. Change is up to me and you.” Gaydou’s speech was followed by board member elections, the year in review and the Business of Distinctions awards. Nominated in the Quality of Life Category were Herremans and Bosscher Orthodontics; Huntington National Bank and Wolverine World Wide YMCA. Nominated in the New Business Category were Double Take Resale, LLC and Nance-Martin Accounting Service. Nominated in the Retail Category were Baskets in the Belfry; Gild the Lily, LLC; Kimberly’s Boutique and Pegasus Sports. In the Service […]