Nina Gorka (August 2013)
‘The Grateful Griller catered our rehearsal dinner and we couldn’t have asked for anything better. He rolled into my brother’s place and set up onsite managing tent, people and, of course, delicious multi-course grilled food, like a pro. The bacon wrapped pickles for appetizers have become something of a legend in our community of friends and many attempts have been made to recreate the tasty treat.
Michael seamlessly and with passion ensuring that all meals would be equally delicious, adjusted his menu to accommodate carnivores, vegetarians and gluten free requests for both adults and kids and to have the assurance that people could comfortably enjoy their unique meal was a great relief.
Michael breathes life into the food that he cooks and the atmosphere he creates. He balances professionalism and playfulness and I couldn’t have asked for anyone more perfect to share and be a part of this memorable evening with us.’
Rochefort Party (2013)
As for Griller, what a meal. The salmon was unreal and bacon wrapped pickles were a revelation. His focus on keeping things fresh and local, as well for his passion for what he does really came out in his dishes. I hope I get to enjoy his food again one day.
Love you all very much and can’t wait until the next one!
Rochefort Party (2013)
As for the Grateful Griller? Couldn’t have been more impressed!!! I live in Manhattan, and am no stranger to great meals- everything Michael Shannon a.k.a. “griller” offered really seemed to be a hit (especially the salmon for me!) It was all fresh, and delicious… the service was notably well thought out and considerate… and his presence was actually a treat! I’d certainly reccommend the Grateful Griller to friends!
(Meghan Miller, Guest)
Wendy Duffy & Family (June 2012)
From the time that Michael Shannon, a.k.a. the Grateful Griller arrived until much later when he packed up his vehicles and trailors, I felt that we were in good hands and everything was covered. Michael assures with “everything’s under control” often enough that it becomes the baseline moto for the evening. Our joint planning and his preparations had been discussed and were now complete and it was time to roll out the soiree.
Michael and Chris did a great job getting set-up for our party – my husband’s 50th – with 30 family and friends. Michael and Chris arrived early, figured out the expected flow of food and people since we were outside, if at all possible and inside if rain threatened – and it did. Beverages were prepped, iced, organized for easy access.
The kitchen was clear and bare until they moved in with salad prep, appetizers and specialty breads. Everything looked and smalled fantastic, fresh and delicious. Friends began to arrive and gathered around the food tables, nicely laid out with zatta bread, strong tzatziki, brushchetta and spicey sausages from the Kamado cookers. Michael welcomed guests and answered loads of questions throughout the evening while efficiently cooking meat items and heating the big wheel baked brie. Chris floated around serving, picking up, letting our friends know what scintillating item was coming off the cookers.
Friends had to be forewarned about the food yet to come as they happily devoured what was in front of them. The main dish plates of maple glazed salmon steak and cranberry…. pork loin steaks were beautifully done and presented. Truly a food experience where the enjoyment and ease (from our point of view) are complete! We ate and tasted flavour bursting food, chatted and laughed – basically all evening.
From the beginning of the evening to the very end, there was a constant attention to detail and gracious engagement and interest from both Michael and Chris. The clean up and take down was very thorough and smooth. We’d had a great evening and celebration. What a way to have a party!
The Pytlak Family (June 2012)
We had the wonderful pleasure of having the Grateful Griller complete our son’s wedding brunch. Hosting close to 80 people with total confidence and total success ….. His food, as well as his service and how personable were all much discussed.
We were beyond pleased and certainly impressed with the whole team and convenience with which he provided us with a delectable menu unique to the Ottawa/Wakefield area.
We would recommend the Grateful Griller to any party planner wishing to avoid the stresses of catering to guests and to anyone looking for a great experience!
Stephanie & James Connolly (August 2012)
‘Our wedding was a celebration of love and family, and we wanted food that would make everyone happy – simple, rich, and most of all expertly managed so that everyone could just focus on being together. Oh, and one other thing – gluten free! If you’re just starting to look for caterers for an event let me save you a lot of work – this simple list is actually quite difficult to find. We went through a few different caterers with extremely disappointing experiences. Then came The Grateful Griller. Even the meetings with Mike were so different from the rest – he is without pretense, comfortable, professional, and TOTALLY focused on making you completely happy. He took our gluten allergy with the utmost seriousness. Where it was helpful, he offered suggestions for layout, display and timing of the food. He was fantastic.
On the day of, as the bride, I didn’t see or hear from Mike until after photos were done and he waltzed over to me at the perfect moment with an amazing organic salad! At that point he and his team of two charming servers had already served a table of amazing appetizers to our guests, and were hard at work preparing for dinner. EVERYONE raved about the food – I can’t count the number of people who told me we served the best pork they’d ever had, meanwhile I still dream about the salmon we ate!
The whole wedding took place outdoors and Mike and his team easily adapted to that. They provided their own ice, everything. They made my day, as the bride, completely stress free and when I looked around all I saw was my family and friends enjoying company and great food. I really couldn’t have been happier.
Thank you so much Mike for helping to fill our wedding with great memories! We’ll never forget it!”
Kim Guntzel (July 2012)
Grateful to the Griller!
Michael, a huge thank you to you and your staff for making my birthday party so memorable. The tapas-style grilled menu was delicious, and I was wowed by the creativity that went into the service and presentation. My friends and family are still talking about your food; it was an absolute highlight and I was impressed by how you perfectly cooked a menu for 80 people. Nothing was overdone…it was all wonderful. Now I can’t wait for the next decade to do it all again!
Steve Hamre (June 2012)
If you have not thought of it yet, put The Grateful Griller on your list of events for 2013. We had the ultimate BBQ experience this summer of 2012. The Party was a hit and the food was fantastic. Michael Shannon brought his Team of Kamado’s, Including Chris Goulet and created a spectacular evening of grilled and smoke food. The Beer went down great as we all salivated over each course.
The service was phenomenal and the food was endless as each item had a distinct taste of fabulous flavour. From the largest brie wheel you have ever seen to the bacon wrapped pickles to the mouth watering salmon drizzled with maple syrup. Rain or Shine this type of party is a success!
The two of them together made a great team. Thank you again for the wonderful experience. See you in 2013. If we don’t see you before my backyard. See you on the slopes and remember, feed the fire my friend.
Lori Clement (June 2012)
I had a surprise birthday party for my husband and with The Grateful Griller’s help it was a tremendous success. The party was truly a surprise, the genial hospitality offered by Michael and Chris was enjoyed by all, and the food was divine! My sister-in-law wanted to take the guys home to Kingston with her and her husband didn’t even seem to mind! Our son and his fiancé were overheard considering engaging The Grateful Griller for their wedding. The house was just buzzing the way it does when a party truly clicks. Thank you Michael and Chris for helping to ensure a wonderful day.
Eric Corcoran (June 2012)
We hired Michael, The Gratefull Griller and his crew for a summer pool party to celebrate my wife’s 40th birthday and it was fantastic!The food was incredible, very original and our guests were very impressed to say the least.The service was professional and not only did The Grateful Griller throw the party but our place was spotless by the night’s end as well!No stress and no time clock is what The Grateful Griller assured us of and he came through with that promise indeed.
I recommend The Grateful Griller 120% for your next party!
Lise Bisnaire and John Lyons (August 2012)
“We hosted a party to celebrate our parents’ 55th wedding anniversary and Dad’s 80th birthday. We heard about Michael, ‘the Grateful Griller’ from a local businessman. We got lucky with a late cancellation and Michael was able to cater our event. What a wonderful experience. The food was great and Michael and his staff’s positive energy was contagious. The group ranged in age from 8 to 89. Everyone loved him. He brought in his grills and despite a severe rain at the start of his grilling, he delivered a series of absolutely delicious treats. We ate from 3 pm to 8pm. We think he might’ve stayed longer if anyone could have eaten anymore. Over the days following the party, our guests raved that this was one of the best parties they had ever attended. In large part, that was due to Michael and his staff’s talents and spirit. We cannot recommend him highly enough.”
Lise Bisnaire and John Lyons
Marc Morin (June 2010)
We hired Michael to look after my father’s 75th birthday party at the cottage. It was an outdoor party with approx. 30 guests and we wanted it to be relatively hassle-free and delicious! He delivered! Michael was beyond accommodating in discussing and working on the menu and made excellent suggestions and recommendations that matched our budget. We’re a family that is passionate about food, especially BBQ. We had high expectations and he blew them away. Most of the dishes he made that day have become go-to favourites at home as he was gracious enough to share thoughts, techniques and recipes with anyone who was interested. Everyone still talks about the Salmon and the Bacon wrapped, grilled pickles!
Part of the fun of the day and what made it so memorable, in addition to the food, was the “road show” that he brought with his kamado cookers. It was never front and centre, taking away from the festivities, but on the contrary, Michael’s passion for what he was doing came through loud and clear and really added to the atmosphere. I’d be happy to go into greater detail if anyone would like, but suffice it to say that I would absolutely endorse the Grateful Griller and recommend his services for ANY party, large or small.
All the best,
Bonnie Kirkwood (October 2010)
Most brides when discussing their wedding are excited about their dress or the flowers. My fiancée and I were excited about the food! We wanted a wedding that reflected our personalities. We were not interested in the traditional sit-down dinner that lasted for hours as we wanted the opportunity to mingle cocktail style with our guests. We were so excited when our venue vendor suggested to us the Grateful Griller and blown away by the concept. He offered exactly what we were looking for: fresh, simple, delicious food, tapas style in an entertaining but relaxed atmosphere. When he told us about the amazing properties of the Kamodo cooker: we were sold. Every time we told our guests about the concept for the grateful griller, people became really excited, including our photographer!
The grateful griller created a menu with our input and ensured that the items reflected our theme and season. Coming from a family with farmers, it meant a lot to us that our ingredients were bought directly from local producers. You are not wasting your money on mass produced food, you are supporting local vendors who ensure the best quality.
Everything that Michael promised to us he delivered and more. Our original idea was to have an outdoor wedding but it ended up being a rainy evening. Michael and his staff made adjustments to ensure that our evening was a success. The food was amazing and our guests are STILL talking about the bacon wrapped pickles! We didn’t have to worry about anything throughout the night, so we could enjoy spending time with our friends and family, laughing and dancing. Our guests said it was the best party they had ever been to.
If you are looking to make your wedding or event unique, with food that your guests will still be raving about months and months later: Grateful Griller is the choice you have to make! There is nothing else available that is even remotely similar or could even compare.
Rob Dube (June 2010)
I contacted Michael in early June 2011, after having spoken to and met with several caterers with regards to a wedding event taking place within weeks. After speaking to him about our short timelines, tight budget and changing numbers he agreed to take me on. Throughout the process, Michael maintained continual contact, clearly pointed out next steps, never pressured decisions, and worked within our budget restrictions, and constantly fluctuating attendance numbers.
The event was a catering function for a wedding that took place on a remote lakeside beach, with no electricity or running water.
My guests were as marvelled by the catering as they were by the unconventional setting and tone of the event. The food was top class, hot, on time, and served professionally and courteously, with a smile and great care.
I would easily refer Michael to anyone considering an event, with full confidence in his professional abilities, both as a caterer and as an ethical businessman. I have nothing but good things to say for what I feel was an excellent decision to go ahead and have him cater our event.
The Perfect Party (July 2010)
40 years is a long time! That is why it is well worth celebrating a couple’s relationship that has lasted that many years. But what is the best way to do it?
Easy! You invite 40 close friends and relatives to spend the day with you….and then you hire the best caterer in the Gatineau Hills to feed them. That’s why we teamed up with Michael Shannon, the Grateful Griller and we were delighted with what he brought to the table.
This guy has a passion, without a word of exaggeration, for grilling and good food. Our guests commented on how well they were fed; we commented on how well Michael took care of the details.
Good company, good food, the Grateful Griller – all in all a great recipe for a perfect party!
Jeff and Marlene Stubbins
Kent and Sarah Humphrey (June 2010)
On July 31st of last summer I celebrated my 60th birthday with about 20 family members at our lake-side home on Lac Bernard. Having been trained as a Chef and having spent my entire career in the hospitality industry, I was a little leery about having someone else in my home to prepare and serve the food but wanted to be able to relax and enjoy the time with my family, many of whom had travelled a great distance to be here.
I had heard of The Grateful Griller locally as he had been preparing food at a nearby restaurant one night a week but we had been unable to sample his food. I arranged to meet with Mike to discuss the possibility of catering our event and found him to be very helpful and co-operative. We were able to customize a menu to suit our needs and Mike made some excellent suggestions.
Arriving at our home the day of the event, Mike was extremely well prepared and well organized. A selection of wonderful hor’s d’oeuvres were served hot, tasty and punctually as was the main course. All of the food was absolutely fantastic with infused marvelous flavours from the various wood chips he used on his extra large smokers. Not only did Mike prepare, cook and serve some amazing food but he also created a very warm, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, speaking with and entertaining the guests with his grilling techniques.
Along with my wife and every one of our guests, I could not have been more completely satisfied and totally impressed with every single thing and I would not hesitate to recommend The Grateful Griller to anyone for any type of affair.
Kent and Sarah Humphrey
Franque Grimard (June 2009)
Dear Grateful Griller,
I just would like to thank you for making me such a happy customer! Of course, cooking with the BGE is great! What a difference ceramic cooking makes compared to the usual propane BBQ! Even though I had read the comments from “egg heads” on the web, I had not realized that it could make the food so moist and tasty.
Yet, what is even better is the amazing service that one gets from the rest of The Grateful Griller experience: The meal that you cooked for my family for the introductory session was delicious and it allowed us to realize further the capabilities of the egg, not to mention it was a great evening in excellent company!
Furthermore, the great help you gave me by lending me the Egg stand while I was working on building my table, the follow-up service you are providing in making sure everything is great in terms of the Egg (the gasket, the charcoal, the cooking tools, spices and all), and now your blog where you discuss recipes and various cooking equipments are excellent. I look forward to discovering new suggestions for recipes, techniques, and tools when your website and blog become fully operational!
Sure, I could have bought my BGE from another fine store in the Ottawa region. No way that any of these firms would have provided me with the quality of service and experience that you offer! Long live The Grateful Griller!
Marcqus Laver (July 2009)
I was looking to replace a portable wood burning BBQ; I had been surfing the net about the Big Green Egg, and came across a blog which highlighted The Grateful Griller as a real barbeque fiend! I picked up the phone and called him to understand more about the BGE. I was immediately struck with his passion & enthusiasm and soon discovered that this exemplified the service and the ‘experience” we were about to encounter. The Grateful Griller was offering a culinary experience that could transform our daily diet.
We were very impressed with his first visit. He assembled the BGE, cooked us a fabulous meal and instantly became part of our extended family at the table, To my great surprise, The Grateful Griller was invited back in two months to host a birthday party – my own surprise birthday party! Family and friends had organized the festivities for the day – Motown was the theme. The Grateful Griller showed up with his wigged ‘fro and Motown threads and proceeded to prepare and serve a great meal and a great time! I think I even caught him mixing a few drinks for us!
Not only were we impressed by The Grateful Griller’s great service, but his simple, entertaining and effective instructions put everyone at ease with the fine art of grilling. The Grateful Griller is definitely the essential ‘ingredient’ before you learn to start grilling on the BGE – We are very grateful to have discovered grilling with the GG!
John McDonald (June 2010)
Dear Grateful Griller
Many, many thanks for the incredible job you did as chef, cook, server, coordinator, organizer, performer and a host of other roles you took on for Joanne’s 60th birthday party. What you did for us was perfect in every way.
You did a fabulous job in helping us plan the event and ensure its success. Your ideas and suggestions – all of them excellent – were great and always made with us in mind. And your calm, positive and reassuring style left no doubt the event would be a huge success (even when the numbers climbed from 30 to over 40!).
You made sure the food was fresh, local, and of the highest quality. You cooked the food over those terrific ceramic barbques with the result being the most flavourful and best cooked series of barbque dishes I have ever experienced. In fact, among the many highlights of the party was the food – everyone was ‘blown away’ by the quality and taste of everything you produced. It was first class all the way.
But it didn’t stop there. You knew how to pace the serving of the dishes and to make it all happen so smoothly and effortlessly. You really turned the evening into a performance. I think you must have had just about everyone around the barbques at one time or another and from the comments we received both during and after the party it was clear that you were a hit in the minds of our guests. You certainly contributed much to the positive atmosphere we enjoyed throughout the evening.
Griller, many thanks again for helping to make our party such an ‘over-the-top’ success.