3 Naples Chefs Share Grilling Tips and Go-Tos

Every man believes he’s the undisputed king of the grill. But even the most dedicated outdoor cook can use a few tips from the experts. We asked three local chefs to share their wisdom as grilling season reaches its peak.

Vanessa Rogers Photography

David Nelson | Timeless An MHK Eatery

Nelson brings several decades of experience to the cooking of burgers, steaks, and seafood on the coal-fired grill at Timeless.

Preferred Cut of Meat: New York strip doesn’t need much prep, making it perfect for the grill.
Best Fish: Salmon, the fattiness gives it a nice char.
Favorite Vegetable: Zucchini is the best one that holds up on the grill.
Charcoal, Wood, or Propane: Wood produces a good high heat and imparts a bit of smokiness to food being grilled.
Useful Tips for the Home Cook: Move coals continuously for an even bed, and rest before serving
Most Common Mistake: Not having the grill hot enough; not allowing meat to rest before serving or cutting.
Preferred Grilling Beverage: Ice-cold New Castle


Andrew Wicklander| The Continental

Wicklander runs the kitchen at D’Amico’s The Continental, one of the area’s popular steak houses.

Preferred Cut of Meat: New York strip, a thicker cut so I don’t have to keep too close an eye on it.
Best Fish: King salmon in season, as well as shrimp.
Favorite Vegetable: Summer squash, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes
Charcoal, Wood, or Propane: Charcoal delivers a more consistent heat; throw on wood chips for flavor, if desired.
Useful Tips for the Home Cook: Understand the cooking times of all your ingredients.
Most Common Mistake: Not using enough charcoal to keep the grill consistently hot enough to the finish.
Preferred Grilling Beverage: Ice-cold Summit IPA from Minnesota


Michael Caronchi Photography

Tony Ridgway | Ridgway Bar & Grill

Ridgway has been supervising the grilling of steaks and chops at his restaurants, Ridgway Bar & Grill and Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar, for decades.

Preferred Cut of Meat: A 24-ounce center-cut prime New York strip
Best Fish: Mahi grills up the best.
Favorite Vegetable: Whole red onions, grilled slowly until caramelized.
Charcoal, Wood, or Propane: In a perfect world, charcoal; practically speaking, propane works great.
Useful Tips for the Home Cook: For a thinner piece of meat, grill it when it’s very cold; for a thicker piece, bring it to room temperature before grilling.
Most Common Mistake: Walking away and realizing your food has burned up.
Preferred Grilling Beverage: A glass of sparkling wine or Champagne

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