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Grill, Daddy, Grill! Barbecue is serious business for local fathers

June 20, 2010
By KAYLEIGH KARUTIS, The Leader-Herald

For some fathers, there's nothing better than firing up the grill and cooking outdoors on a warm summer evening.

It's a passion that some fathers say they already have passed on to their children, while others plan on doing so once their kids are a bit older.

For Scott Handy of Gloversville, it's all about experimenting with different flavors and styles of cooking.

"I've been through I-don't-know-how-many grills, but I bought one a few years ago and it's the best grill I've ever had," he said. "I just love the heat."

Handy said he fires up the grill as soon as weather allows and he cooks meals on it several times a week until the fall.

Friends and family are often invited over to try his concoctions, which are usually a hit. Everything from burgers and ribs to clams and fish have been cooked on the Handy grill, he said.

"My dog sits with me. I put a little extra on, so he gets his piece too," he said.

Handy said his grandfather was the reason he learned to grill. On trips home during his college years, he would grill dinner for his grandfather. It grew into a love of cooking in general, he said.

Now, Handy said he's trying to get his kids into it as well. His son Zach, 16, has shown a bit of interest, he said. Daughter Kacie, 14, might flip a burger or two once in a while, or help with basting, he said. Most of the time, though, Handy said he's on his own.

"They'd rather eat it and let daddy do all the work," he said.

Jim Gordon of Johnstown, a father of three girls, works as a meat cutter at Meatland in Broadalbin. It just seems natural, then, that he has a love of grilling all different types and cuts of meat.

"I grill all year round. In the winter, the grill goes in the garage," he said.

His three daughters haven't shown too much interest, but that's fine with him, he said. He's happy doing the grilling, which he said brings out more flavor in the meat than other ways of cooking.

"It just tastes better," he said. "And it's easy."

Patrick Clear of Mohawk said his 6-year-old daughter, Haley, doesn't do much grilling, but she helps in other ways.

"I like mixing my own barbecue sauces and trying new things, and grilling is a great way to do it," he said. "Haley's shown an interest but she's a little small so I don't let her near the grill. She likes helping me mix up the sauces, though."

Learning about grilling also runs in the family for Tom Hernigle, who lives in Little Falls and works in Amsterdam. Hernigle and his brother run a catering business called Tex's BBQ, which started simply as lessons in cooking and barbecuing from their grandfather, whom everyone called Tex.

Now the pair caters venues across the Capital Region and specializes in, of course, barbecue. They've built their own rotisseries and smokers and have been expanding steadily, he said.

It's a little early for his 1-year-old son, Cody, to start helping out with business, but Hernigle said his stepdaughter, 7-year-old Hailey, likes to help as much as she can.

"She loves getting the food displays and getting them set up," he said. "It's really something you have to love. If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth it."

Kayleigh Karutis can be reached by e-mail at



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