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For you trout lovers out there, Chef Mark DeNittis shares an awesome trout recipe from a recent backcountry excursion in his Jeep TJ.  Fix ‘er up and enjoy!

Pub Style Trout with Pretzel and Mustard Crust

2 Each Fresh Mountain Trout right from the stream (gutted)
1 Tbs Mustard ( Yellow Mustard) Dijon or other would work just as well.
½ tsp Black Pepper to taste
½ Cup Snyder’s Pretzels (or your favorite brand), crushed
No salt needed as the salt on the pretzels will do just fine.
1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Cooking Oil

Method of Preparation:
Pat dry the skin of the trout with paper towel. Slather the mustard on both sides of each trout. Season with black pepper. Roll the trout in the crushed pretzels. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet or on a griddle on medium heat. Place the trout into the skillet or griddle, cook on both sides for about 4 – 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the trout. Once cooked through, pick the flesh off the bone, sprinkle a little lemon on and enjoy with a cold beer of your choice.


* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

The Bull Moose Hunt Society is a small group in San Francisco that focuses on responsible gun ownership, ethical hunting, and human camaraderie. Being an avid outdoorsman myself (not so avid as of recent due to family, work and business obligations), I thought to myself, “Hmmm…Bull Moose Hunting Society in Northern California, specifically the Bay Area…I’ve got to investigate!”

I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with one of the founders Nick Chaset.

A funny thing happened within a sea of opinions against anything remotely mentioning the use of guns and hunting animals. Two friends, Nick Chaset, a native San Franciscan and his friend Nick Zigelbaum, native Bostonian (now living in San Francisco), wanted
to find out more about guns and seeking out critters to kill and consume in a responsible and ethical fashion, hence the birth of the Bull Moose Hunt Society. Nick grew up in a very liberal area of the country, and pondered when he was posed the question over two
and a half years ago, “How is it you can eat something you haven’t killed yourself?” So the adventure began…

Chef D:  How did you come about creating the Bull Moose Hunt Society?

Nick C: Once asked the question about “killing what I eat”, it piqued my interest in finding out more about guns, hunting, and all that it encompasses. From preparing for the journey itself, to consuming something I personally sought out, killed ethically, processed ourselves, to ultimately consume amongst friends, proved a very moving experience.

I found as I researched there was actually a lot more people interested in this than I expected. For me the whole process is a very real and humanistic experience. The outdoors and aspects of conservation are abundant. A fun aspect to what we are doing is challenging the preconceptions of hunting and gun ownership in a very liberal community yet in a positive and meaningful way.

Chef D:  Was any formal training required?

Nick C: Yes, we wanted to seek out and research the most responsible ways in which to accomplish the activity as a whole. Growing
up in a San Francisco household I wasn’t exactly exposed much to guns and/or gun handling. Never mind hunting. I went to a local
shooting range and spoke in depth with the range master, as well other responsible gun owner/operators attending the range.

Additionally, we visited a local game ranch. We spent a full day with the rancher to seek advice on all the aspects of the animals, land,
conservation and conditions.

Furthermore, we sought out the expertise and advice of responsible hunters and gun owners on the internet web sites and forums. Most people were very surprised by the fact that two guys from SF were not only interested in guns and hunting, but that we actually had a true appreciation for it all.

Chef D:  Is the Bull Moose Hunt Society considered to be rare or fairly commonplace?

Nick C: Within our personal education regarding it all we have found it to be very common outside of San Francisco, largely in the Mountain west, Midwest and South. In San Francisco, most certainly it is something that is very rare but it doesn’t have to be. We have approximately seven BMHS members but the friends of BMHS are many, especially when we have a freshly harvested animal. We invite upwards of 100 people; friends, chefs, friends of friends, and friends of chefs for our feasts. Chefs are always especially interested, even more so with the nature of SF’s food scene. It is always a very rewarding experience to expose and collaborate with likeminded individuals.

When we BBQ there is a commonality…sharing heritage, good food and good times, something that we have lost or disconnected with over the years as a society. Being in touch with our hunter/gatherer nature and consciousness of the outdoors, a deeper awareness of our senses, the smells, sounds, animal tracking as a whole is a very moving and personal experience.

At the BBQ’s, preconceptions are left at the door, anti-gun, antihunting or anti-meat is all swept to the side. Again, we love to chat about the hunt, all the preparation once an animal is harvested, the experience as a whole. It is a great education for ourselves and we enjoy sharing that with others. Both of our girlfriends are not exactly thrilled about us having firearms but they know it is very important to us. They also know that we have invested a great deal of education and time in handling and safety of firearms.

There is a large cross section of population diversity that is interested in what we do and even members, as well friends, range from a solar energy installer to a firefighter to liberals and conservatives both. We found there to be people from rural, suburban, and urban centers alike interested and practicing these same interests.

Chef D: When out on an adventure, do you prepare the food yourself or is there a favorite hot spot you gravitate towards?

Nick C: To date we have only done overnight and one day trips, so foods that are quick, hearty or light to carry and provide sustenance is what we typically bring. We certainly make or swap a lot of jerky venison or other game meat jerky.

Being in SF we have access to some of the greatest breads, cheeses and other foods in the world for simple consumption at camp. We would like to eventually do something longer such as three or five –day hunt treks into the backcountry. As with our diligent research with guns and hunting, we will do the same regarding food and equipment for longer trips.

Chef D: What is your favorite adventure comfort food and beverage?

Nick C: Venison jerky from game trades with others or our own jerky. My favorite beverage would have to be a pull of Jameson Whiskey from the flask. This is strictly of course only after the day concludes, ammunition has been unloaded and we are settled at camp for the evening. We can’t stress enough the importance of safety regarding alcohol consumption. It is something we take
extraordinary and serious steps with both our own actions as well educating others on regarding the matter.

Chef D: What is your adventure kitchen comprised of?

Nick C: A simple camp stove for very simple preparations such as stew.

Chef D: What is the biggest challenge of preparing food out on the hunt?

Nick C: Not so much with what we eat while hunting as that is the easy part. It is when we have the opportunity to harvest a live animal, the challenge lies within safely preparing the animal in the field to consume at a later time at home with our friends. How we process, pack, and prepare a freshly harvested animal would be the biggest challenge. Educating ourselves before our first trip was a high priority.

Chef D: Can you recall your most memorable adventure “game hunt”?

Nick C: The very first time two years ago, it was a wild boar sow named Bertha at a game ranch 150 miles north of San Francisco. The complete story is here:

Each time we go it is being in touch with and having our hands on the whole process, going through the motions of seeing a live animal become cuts of meat to becoming cooked product on a plate, ultimately being consumed and enjoyed by friends.

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Last minute notice of four open spots from, group for a Jeep Expedition across the Mojave, pronounced Mo-ha-vay. The trek included 120 miles across the open desert of the Mojave Desert Trail in Southern California. The starting point was Laughlin, Nevada with a finish destination somewhere near Barstow, California.

Total Miles: (1948miles) 1720 Pavement; 128 miles Off-Road

Equipment Features : 12 Volt Lunchbox Oven

Recipe Features : Rajun Cajun Rigatoni, Yucatan Style Beef, Chevre, Rice and Black Bean Burritos

Restaurant Features : Javier’s Lindo Michoacan Las Vegas, Nevada; Carneceria: Baker, California; Linda’s Café: Westslope I-70 in Colorado

JEEP LOG DATE: 10:6 – 10:9:2007

Denver to Vegas 1am – 8pm

Left Denver after teaching a 6:00am – 7: 30pm stretch with a one hour nap. Got on the road by 1am on Friday morning and finally, the beginning of the 4-day road trip of a lifetime! I picked up co-pilot Chef Adam Sacks, a fellow colleague and now business associate with a sense of adventure, and we were on our way. One way to either make a friend or have a complete loathed enemy is to spend four whole days in the confines of a small Jeep. Fortunately, it ended up being the first of the two possibilities.

Having both grown up in the same era and area of the country, we had lots in common and a lot to talk about. Caffeine and lots of snacks, nothing fancy as I had been teaching double classes all week and the weekend before was busy with XRRA Rock Race Finals in Colorado Springs. Stopped just outside of Grand Junction to catch another hour nap, then we slowly made our way to
Laughlin. The head winds were insane, in particular from the middle of Utah all the way to Vegas.

Along the way was a lot of historical information regarding the State of Utah, not on the top of my list (explained later) other than of course, Moab. Outlaw Country, the Place Nobody Wanted and Cove Creek Fort were all great and informative stops along the way. This lends well to the educational aspects of our trip.

Finally a quick stop by an intriguing sign off the highway somewhere in Arizona / Nevada indicated the state of my sometimes twisted sense of humor, mind and demeanor which most that know me would certainly agree…Area of Critical Environmental Concern!

A stop in Vegas but got lost. No, not the gambling lost kind either. I mean really getting lost! But we found our way past the new Trump Tower which looks to dwarf the Wynn Casino.

At this point, hunger was really kicking in and the down home goodness of Big Momma’s Soul Food Restaurant, located on the edge of the “hood” looked great; however, we wanted to leave Las Vegas so we ventured through the bright lights and we found Javier’s Lindo Michoacan, a highly overpriced and way overrated food quality of a Mexican restaurant (see The D.I.R.T. at for the full scoop and 4-lodown). At least the cold carbonated beverages were good.

After a full belly of overrated and overpriced Mexican slop we were on our way to Laughlin.

Vegas to Laughlin NV 8pm-7am

Got to Laughlin around 11pm and saw all the pretty lights in the middle of nowhere. It was neat. All this glamour in the middle of, well, absolutely nowhere!

We found the Riverside Motel, an older place on the west side of town with clean rooms and hot shower. Now what happens in Laughlin after 11pm stays in Laughlin. I will note that there are some interesting folks, in particular the locals at the Lazy River Lounge. What was most fascinating was the persistence of the locals in expressing what a nice place Laughlin was and how it is such a “nice” and “great” place to settle and raise a family. Sure..O.K. If you say so?!?! It felt eerily like we were immersed in an episode of the Twilight Zone. I would however, visit again and maybe even retire there. Go figure.

One of the highlights was shooting pool with old Al, a regular at the Lazy River and a fellow Massachusetts native who was wicked cool. I think most remarkable and memorable was the “Al Shuffle,” a little jig when the game
went well for him. Oh yeah, word of caution: Don’t mention or say the words “milk jugs” in front of Mistress Kitty. Why you ask? Well, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Finally retiring after being up for 48 hours with only two hours sleep, I looked forward to four more hours of restful bliss. We got up at 6:30am on Saturday for a cup of coffee on the little patio of the bar, and reflected on how nice life in Laughlin must be. From there, we reflected on the drive behind and the drive yet ahead.

MOJAVE TRAI L First Leg: 8am – 6pm

The meeting point for the whole group was south of Laughlin at the Avi Resort / Casino. All in all there were a total of 21 vehicles with folks mostly from Arizona and some from southern and even Northern California. I think though, “the boys from Colorado” as we infamously became known, trekked the farthest to attend. I don’t know if it was the loud laughter, the most dented nerf-bars, the insane amount of time driving or the combination of it all that contributed to us becoming known as such.

Our trail leader was freelance editor Jim Brightly, who was actually doing an article for 4WD and Sport Utility Magazine. The first leg of the trip was 68 miles to our camp destination. The trail itself was a combination of semi-soft sand and hard packed sand, pretty much a road that could be traversed by most cars compared to what I am usually accustomed to wheeling. I sort of admired that milder aspect as it was a nice change from the hardcore trails I usually traverse. Not having to worry too much about major parts breakage and enjoying the diverse scenery was great fun and the chances of actually driving back to Colorado in one piece were greatly improved. The odds were in my favor!

With that said, there was some minor breakage. First, a flat tire due to a sidewall tear on a TJ in the group and then, a Grand Cherokee steering pump that got bent and snapped a belt. Someone pulled out their tool box while I went to go get the shop-box out of my Jeep. This is one of those testosterone things, my toolbox is “bigger than yours,” and by far when I whipped it out, folks were impressed. “Look at the size of those channel locks, my I feel insignificant” and “Damn that guy could build a whole Jeep with what’s in there!!” It was a “Tim the tool man” moment with oohs and ahhs. Needless to say, it was another feather in the cap of preparedness and boost to the Jeep ego.

I have collected those tools, bolts, nuts, lubes, thread locker and the like over a period of 17 years, the epitome of “just in case.” I did not, however, have the needed fan belt or 16mm wrench.

*Mental note-to-self: Go buy these items just in case!!

The magnitude of the diverse ecology of the first 68 miles was amazing, as was the history behind the trail from the days of it being a route used by the government for communications. At one point the government attempted army desert training, inclusive of using camels instead of horses.

Finally arriving at the camp spot in the mid-Mojave desert, we quickly unloaded and set up the kitchen. COFFEE first and foremost, followed by a cold carbonated beverage was in order. Tonight we dined on a not-so stable camp table that ended up being more like a wind chime.

On the menu?

Recipe: Ragin Cajun Rigatoni Pasta with Chicken, Andoullie and Tasso Ham in a Mushroom Creole Cream Sauce

I made this ahead and assembled the separate ingredients on the trail. I do recommend complete assembly at home and simply reheating on the trail for even quicker cooking and clean up.

After this evening’s dinner we went to the group area to sit by the fire, mingle with the members of Jeep Expeditions and chat. It was an early night as most dispersed at 9pm, quite an early night. Must have been something I said. Of course the “boys from Colorado” stayed up late by the camp site, chatting more, laughing a lot and enjoying cold carbonated refreshments in the cold and windy desert night.

Mid Point Mojave Mile 68 – 128 and into Utah Sunday 10/7

Setting up the back of my trailer as a sleeping unit proved to be great and while I don’t have any pictures, it was great to be out of the cold nights wind. Dreams were intense and vivid at one point, feeling like coyotes were nipping at my toes and desert rodents running up inside my trailer. Nonetheless, deep sleep from the lack of previous days was refreshing.

Woke up at 6:30am and started breakfast coffee. I enjoyed the desert morning air and silence. There is just something about the solitude, smells and visual ecstasy in the desert that is just darn cool! From there, we broke down and packed up, which took most of the morning. We were on our way by 9am for the final 65 miles of the desert portion of the expedition.

First stop was the Mojave Mailbox to sign the traveler’s guestbook. Of course, leaving a sticker strategically located on the bottom of the box was in my plan. Inside the mailbox, people take and leave multiple goodies. The most unique was the bag of Shrimp Chips, tasty little puffed rice chips with shrimp flavoring.

Onward we went for a side trip to see some ancient volcanic tubes in the earth. Note to self: This would make an awesome family trip in the cooler months of the year. My wife and daughter would really enjoy researching and being immersed into the abundance of historical and ecological surroundings this whole area has to offer. The cylinder tubes we and others explored were really cool. Ancient lava flow bubbles – the champagne bubbles of the earth if you will.

Along the way we crossed a salt lake bed to add to the Rock Pile at mid point. At the top is a plaque and I won’t divulge what it says as it would perpetuate years of horrible events. You must travel to the sacred spot to find out for yourself. I, of course, had to be different and balance one rock atop another (a little reddish rock balanced atop a triangular rock). Adam climbed to the top to read the plaque, also leaving his rock from the trip. The crystallized flats were semi-soft and salty mud flew everywhere as we trekked across it. After the salt bed came an area of soft sand dunes until we finally reached the mines area. It was a great little playground where the JGA Jeep got to stretch and flex a little.

Lunch today consisted of Yucatan Style Beef, Chevre, Rice and Black Bean Burritos

The final stretch to pavement in California

We Left the playground for a scenic photo opportunity of the whole group at a neat railroad bridge. We then left the bridge and stopped around 4:00pm, then it was onward to Afton Spring campground. We came across the only water crossing for miles and concluded the Mojave Desert trip, the desert part anyway. For some it was another couple days onward to an expedition to Octillo Wells. We were graciously offered to join, tempting as it was we both did had a few personal days saved up but the consensus was ultimately that we should get back to Colorado. We aired up and said our thank yous and goodbyes until the next expedition (MOAB IN MAY)!!!

We rested at a quick stop off I-15 in Baker, California where we ate some great tacos and drank wonderfully flavored horchata. Something about a restroom essence restaurant would deter most, but this didn’t scare us off. It’s gotta be good because no gringos would even consider entering a place like this. I, of course, had to order the burrito la lengua with chicharon. Yes, cow tongue burrito with crispy fried tidbits of pork fat. YUMMMMM is all I can say although next time in Baker I think the Alien Jerky place is deserving of a visit.

This was the first of many stops this evening as we realized we had a long trip ahead. For some reason it seemed as though an additional 1000 miles was added to the trip back to Colorado. We stop 15 miles west of Vegas for a quick nap and then awoke to the voices of Nevada’s finest, not directed at us but rather at someone they had pulled over and stopped right behind us. Fascinatingly enough they didn’t even come to check on us in the Jeep, just leaving after they finished with the folks they pulled over. Pretty awkward we thought.

Utah proved to be the longest stretch as the first 250 miles into the state seemed to last forever, especially since there wasn’t a single place to get a cup of coffee.

Everything was closed to get coffee. I am proclaiming action be taken against the state of Utah for lack of adequate coffee supplies to weary road travelers. We finally did find one place that was open for coffee. What is wrong with Southwestern Utah?

Driving for 30 minutes, sleeping for 30 minutes, driving for an hour and sleeping for an hour proved to prolong the trip that much more.

Monday morning to Monday Night

Finally daybreak and still another 500 or so miles to go to Denver. At least this time there was not a head wind we were traveling into and the snow storms originally forecasted for this day were not in sight. It was clear sailing all the way. We ate at a roadside stop on I-70 around 3pm, just outside of Grand Junction, called Linda’s Rainbow Truck Stop.

Linda herself was our server but explained she no longer owned the place. The BLT was decent and substantial although I do prefer crisp bacon rather than undercooked, rubbery bacon. The fresh-made beef soup that Adam ate was less than desirable. Damn those chefs are picky!

We finally arrived back in Denver around 8 pm. Back at home and back to reality.


I have to say it was one of the most truly epic trips that I have experienced.

Adam is a former Jeep owner himself, and now after the trip I am holding him accountable for getting back to his roots by trading in his little Subaru thing and getting his Jeep once again!

Of course his wife may or may not approve; however, we Jeep folks know one of two things will happen regarding trading in a vehicle for a Jeep. Either way it will be a win-win situation.

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Real items for real adventure and real trail use. That’s the 4-1-1 on the Epicurean Camp Series Cutting Board and why we, as Jeep adventure enthusiasts and backcountry cuisine afficianados, dig this product!
Adventure usefulness and/or Jeep usefulness:     

This earth friendly cutting board made from dense recycled cardboard fibers proved very useful on my last trip to the mecca…for the Moab Easter Jeep Safari. I particularlly liked the dual use aspect of cutting board and strainer. In the past I had carried an extra colander that took up valuable space. This product helped solve that! Thank you Epicurean!!

Durability of the item in the field:     

The cutting board held up to multiple applications of typical Chef abuse such as the slicing, dicing, and chopping of a wide variety of produce and proteins. One of the better features in particular in this unit was the strainer aspect. Make sure to properly wash and sanitize in between cutting produce and meats and strainer use. I would recommend cutting all produce, especially ready to eat raw vegetables that might not get cooked such as salads and vegetable snacks prior to using anything else. A
quick wash in hot soapy water, rinse and wipe down with moist bleach towelette proved to do the job. It proved itself over again and again by handling the production of enough food for three dinners for at least 15 people. If that isn’t a testament to a product I don’t know what is. I will be sure to continue using it as part of my camp kitchen for sure. It proved to meet every claim that the company makes.

Value of product in relation to competitors’ product:     

The only competition I can remotely even think of or find is those little plastic roll up ones…and by far they don’t come close on several levels. The value of this product is definitely well worth every penny. I am going to additionally look into purchasing some of the larger sized ones for camping as well one or two potentially for the house from several of their other series of cutting boards.

Quality of product:     

At first I must candidly admit my initial thought was “recycled cardboard fiber…how will this hold up to knife banging even more so hot pasta water from straining a pot”! After putting the board the rigors of my trail testing my doubts were proved wrong. That’s not to say I wouldn’t recommend soaking the board in water for any extended periods of time.

Ease of use:     

Place the board on a table, place the product on the board and cut away, it really doesn’t get any easier. The only slight imperfection and this is by far only a picky little chef thing, was that it wasn’t non-slip. I only say this as I like to have either a small rubber mat or moist towel under my cutting board where it contacts the table so it doesn’t slide around when slicing at super chef speeds. My simple fix was to do what I normally do with any cutting board…place a moist towel or small rubber mat under it. Great product and overall easy to use for sure!

Specifications of product per the manufacturer:

Epicurean Cutting Surfaces® are commercial grade cutting surfaces for the outdoor gourmet. Made from recycled cardboard fiber that will last for years of use, these premium surfaces are exceedingly durable, easy to handle and store, and won’t dull expensive knives. And unlike wood cutting boards, these nonporous surfaces will not harbor bacteria and can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher.

All Epicurean® Camp Series are light and slim enough to handle comfortably, clean, and store efficiently.

Epicurean® cutting surfaces are heat resistant up to 350˚F/176˚C. You can use them as a trivet and not leave a blemish.

Epicurean® cutting surfaces are made using recycled cardboard fiber.

Epicurean® cutting surfaces are exclusively designed and manufactured in the United States of America.

Unlike wood and bamboo cutting boards, Epicurean® food preparation surfaces are dishwasher safe.

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Move over Julia Child and Betty Crocker cooking clubs of yesteryear, today’s chefs and food enthusiasts aren’t just Suzy Homemaker anymore. Enter the Man Pan.

Sure, I’d like to see someone say “cooking is for girls” these days to somebody like Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen…or even say it to me for that matter! Bring it, and that is just what Man Pans has done!

Having this pan myself since it was still in the prototype phases, I have trail-tested this pan on numerous occasions both out on the trail as well in my home kitchen. It is a useful tool for sauté, wok-style cooking, boiling water, cooking pasta as well pasta dishes, soups, stir fry, or even one pot meals such as stews or braised dishes. It performs in the house just as well as it does on the trail.

Adventure usefulness and/or Jeep usefulness:    

The Man Pan fits fairly well in an off-highway camp kit much more easily than it does in a backpacker’s trail kit. The handle, which has a great purposeful design, has its own slight issue being that it’s in a fixed location and might potentially lend to it taking up extra space or making it slightly tougher to pack. Nonetheless, The Man Pan’s superbly designed, lightweight nature and overall handle design usefulness does balance it out as an adventure savvy trail companion.

Durability of the item in the field:     

Lightweight it might be but I would consider it to be a heavyweight contender in durability. Construction is geared towards commercial use, and anybody that has worked in a restaurant/hotel/food service kitchen can attest to the beatings that pans take. Similar, cheap imitation pans made overseas might be considerably less expensive but guess what, you get what you pay for! Similar cheap pans would become loose and breakdown easily under pressure.

The Man Pan has been industry proven as it is used in several national chain restaurants. It can “Take a high heat licking and keep on ticking!” The one-piece handle itself is attached/riveted at four points from the inside with the handle integrated attachment point on the outside. This means your wife can smack you upside the head multiple times and the handle will not loosen from the pan.

Value of product in relation to competitors’ product:     

The fact that these pans are made in the good ole’ USA and secondly in an Eco-Friendly manner is of significant value within itself. As far as what the product costs, it certainly may seem expensive to the average Joe or Jane but by far there is no comparison in the quality of the finished product. Placed side by side with other contenders in this particular pan category the cost is comparable. The exceptional and added value amongst its competitors in the same range is certainly strength, durability, and design.

Additionally, the design itself incorporates methods of material forming for impressive H.E.T. (heat-energy-transfer) efficiency (like an R.T.I. ramp but for pans). This process gives the ability of lowering the heat source by up to 40% while still generating the same effects as if it were a full, high heat flame. This is the Man Pan claim and trail-tested and proven result. The Man Pan won’t sit in the garage or storage unit lonely with your other camp cookware. The Man Pan demands more than that. Its value is additionally shown in the ability to have it as an everyday home use pan. The wife just might actually get jealous if she doesn’t use it to smack you upside the head (remember, it is durable).

Quality of product:     

Designed by “a team of top industry engineers and experts” (possibly including wives, just a theory I have), the materials and design factors that went into the Man Pan shine through when in use and it shows. From the technologically superior design components such as the ultra durable cool grip handle and natural non-stick nature (Gen-X2, see information in manufacturer specifications), the Man Pan delivers (insert Tim the Tool-Man grunts here).

Similar cheap imitator pans use Teflon for non-stick. Let’s be honest here: How many Teflon pans have you thrown out (I HOPE YOU HAVE) because of flaking Teflon surfaces?

The integrated natural non-stick surface of the Man Pans comes from the pan making and metal forming/layering process itself. The claims of scratching with a coin hold true, I have done it myself, try that on a Teflon pan!

The cool grip handle design is purposeful and two fold.

The design itself and metal used keep the handle from getting the O.S.T.H.H.G. Factor (Oh S&%T that’s a Hot Handle Grab Factor) you have experienced while being camp chef. C’mon you know those “Wish I had the video camera AFV home video moments.”

The handle is further designed to be non-slip, which is a great added benefit. Industry pans often have “handle rubbers” that are just plain worthless and make the pan even more dangerous to handle.

Ease of use:     

Pretty simple here. Put over medium – high heat, add in a cooking medium (such as cooking oil not 30w or 40w), some food, and …cook away! Don’t worry about delicate clean-up either. Get in there and “Git ‘er Done!” without worry of scratching that precious Teflon coating!

– For more information on The Man Pan and other products built by Man Pans Cookware, check out their website at

Related – Epicurean Camp Series Cutting Board

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

jpfreekalisnoI want to welcome Colorado native Alison Williams to the Freek Team as our Healthy Lifestyle Correspondent.IMG_0525
7 Bar Grille won’t be the same anymore with Alison lending insightful tips, tricks, in-depth and useful information about eating, living as well simply being thoughtful of your body, mind and soul. From foods to recipes and suggestions about indoor and outdoor activities, Alison will bring to the table what you need to be fit, healthy and terrific!

Look for more about Alison in the upcoming Winter 2009 issue of JPFreek get your subscription at

Welcome Alison!!

7 Bar Grille Culinary Modifcation Tools and My Jeep Grille Adventures Camp Kitchen and Cookbook can now be purchased for your personal enjoyment or gift giving pleasure from Quadratec Off Highway Catalogue:Quadratec_Jeep_Logo[1]

JGA 2009 COVERMy Jeep Grille Adventures: Camp Kitchen & Cookbook: From the backcountry to the backyard and all the tailgates in between Chef D brings to the table your culinary enhancement needs!

7Bar Grille Culinary Modification Tools: Enhancing your culinary pleasures….go ahead and get some… know you want to!

OCTOBER 29th 2009:

Denvers first major storm (Winter Storm Warnings in effect 10/28 – 10/30 6pm) with expected snowfall of 6 inches to 2 feet. It happens every year….snow before or on Halloween. But this is wild snow warning for 2 days! I am posting a this as a farewell to summer-fall!

The Fall of Fall 2009…..
Trail Chef Mark of 7 Bar Grille goes on a scenic media shoot for Colorado Destinations.
Where did it go?! Summer then fall and it disappeared quickly. It seems that it flew by and I barely got one day of wheeling in during the summer never mind the short fall season! Fast forward to October 7th, forecast for the weekend is grim, snow! The crystallized water flakes have already been flying as early as the last week of September, “it’s gonna be a gnarly winter” even the longtime locals concur. Cline Media Production contacts me to shoot a segment of Trail Cooking a la 7 Bar Grille style for the weekend. We are tasked with filming two one-minute and thirty second cooking segments to be aired in the Denver Market and possibly beyond. “Let’s wait until Saturday to see what the weather turns out to be!” “Yup…looks like we’ll hold off until Monday as Sunday is not looking to savory!”
Yet once again I thank Adventure Explorer Christopher Columbus as he afforded the opportunity to enjoy a Monday off from my full time job. Monday it is, we’ll meet in Georgetown and head up Guanella Pass, a very scenic graded gravel road that I would typically otherwise not traverse, typically seeking a little more challenging terrain. Cline Media does not have an off-highway savvy vehicle so our choice of locations for the shoot is quite limited, but our choice nonetheless affords us some classic and fantastic Colorado scenery. With the snow flying up in the hills so early it is probably best.
Whenever I have unique projects I always consider the opportunity for education….so my daughter as well I invited Johnson & Wales University culinary students Jesse Albertini and Selema Hamoud join to gain a little non-traditional out of class cooking experience. Really how often does the opportunity to do a television media food shoot on the top of a mountain, possibly covered in snow happen?
The rest of the story…it was snowy, windy and cold down here in Denver. As soon as we started climbing up the first hill on I70 heading west out of Denver it started to clear up and get quite warm?! Only in Colorado! By the time the shoot was over I had lost close to 5 pounds from sweating as I figured cold down in Denver must be colder up there.
We filmed the short segments by Georgetown Lake in Georgetown, Colorado. Originally we had planned to go up to Guanella Pass but due to construction and the road closing at certain times of the day we chose the easier locale.

The menu:
• 7BG Swamp Stompin’ Seared Sirloin Steaks with Lumberjack Stack of Sweet Corn, Bell Pepper, Green onion Pancakes with Southern Comfort Syrup
• 7BG Las Cruces Chile Challenge Spiced Colorado Bone- in Lamb Rib-eyes with Easy Bake Sweet Potatoes and Charred Greens

7BG Swamp Stompin’ Seared Sirloin Steaks with Lumberjack Stack of Sweet Corn, Bell Pepper, Green onion Pancakes with Southern Comfort Syrup
Serves: 4
4 Each 6 – 8 oz. Colorado’s Best Beef All Natural 21 Day Dry Aged Sirloin Steaks
1 – 2 Tablespoons 7 Bar Grille Swamp Stompin’ Bayou Spice (depends on your heat preference)
2 Tablespoons Canola/Cooking Oil
Season the steaks with as much or as little of the Cajun Style Seasoning. Traditional style blackening can be achieved by heating a cast iron skillet and char searing the steaks. Cook until your desired level or doneness: Moo (cold rare “black and blue like sushi YUM!!”, Moo-Warmed Rare – Medium Rare, Moo-Cooked “medium”, Moo-Shoe Leather anything beyond medium really.


For The Pancakes: Make ahead at home, mix all the ingredients up in a bowl, cook, cool and pack to do a quick reheat on the trail. No mess or mixing to deal with out in the backcountry.
2 Cups Favorite Pancake Batter – (we used a dry whole wheat mix for this one as well milk and an egg)
½ Cup Sweet Corn Kernels (Frozen is Fine)
¼ Cup Green Onions Sliced
¼ Sweet Baby Bell Peppers
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a cast iron or non-stick skillet heat some olive oil or canola oil over low to medium heat. Drop a Tablespoon and a half of the mix, let spread out a little. Cook until the pancake begins to bubble and flip to brown on the other side. Set aside on a napkin or paper towel to cool and soak up any excess oil. Pack and freeze them or simply chill them, this will depend on how long it will be until you use them. It’s hard not to nosh on one of them while cooking them they are addicting little buggers.

CAMP COOK NOTE: If you just wanted to prepare the pancakes camp-side follow the same recipe as above and cook the pancakes a la minute (in the moment/minute).
For the Syrup:
1 – 2 Nips Bottles of Southern Comfort (more for thechef)
2 Tablespoons Sorghum Syrup or Maple
Add the Southern Comfort to a pan, bring to a boil to cook out the alcohol for better flavor. Add in the syrup and let simmer for 1 minute. Pull off the heat and allow it to cool. You can reuse the nip bottles to pour back into to use out on the trail. I used a little funnel made from a small Ziploc type baggie, pour in the cooled liquid and snip the corner of the bag.

7BG Las Cruces Chile Challenge Spiced Colorado Bone- in Lamb Rib-eyes with Easy Bake Sweet Potatoes and Charred Greens
The heat of the Chile Challenge and the flavors of the simple sweet potato, and greens bring balance, and at the top of a mountain in the backcountry what more could one ask for.
Serves 4
4 Each 6 oz Double American Lamb Rib Chops (basically a bone in Lamb rib-eye steak)
Chef Mark’s 7 Bar Grille Culinary Modification Tool: Las Cruces Chile Challenge (to your level of heat)
2 Each Large Whole Sweet Potatoes-Baked in an Oven until fork tender. (make ahead)
1 Head Bok Choy or 6 – 8 Heads Baby Bok Choy

Thanks to:
Colorado Destinations; Gary Cline and Cline Media Crew:
Johnson & Wales Culinary Students: Jesse Albertini and Selema Hamoud
Colorado Best Beef  for providing All Natural Charolais 21 Day Dry Aged Top Sirloin Steaks
American Ranchers and Processors for producing high quality American Lamb

The last of the lost episodes from Moab EJS 2009 Crane Hi Clearance VIP Party “Tent Condo”


Friends of 7 Bar Grille Epicurian Cutting Board Recipe winner:
Diane Zalman (DZ Jeep Chic): Arizona U.S.A.

I have had the pleasure of wheeling with Diane and her husband George on two separate occasions, first on the epic 2007 Mojave Road trip and then again in Moab, May of 2008. There is a great video of George almost losing it on Hell’s Gate from the Moab 2008 trip:

Certainly Diane’s recipe will knock people completely over with how good it tastes.

7BG Recipe Contest

I unfortunately haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying this tasty dish out on the trail myself. At least the next trip with Diane and George I won’t plan on cooking for at least one night, I’ll help with dishes and beverage consumption.
Speaking of beverages I would recommend enjoying this dish with either a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or yes, even a red, Pinot Noir.

Kudos to Diane and thanks for your great submission, I especially like the idea of serving this with a simple greens salad! All the benefits of carbohydrates, protein and nutritious greens in one meal! Did I… just say…. “nutritious”… hmmm something or somebody must be rubbing off on me?

Additionally see Diane’s newest off-highway adventure project at:

Easy Spanish Couscous and Shrimp
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Dehydrated Chopped Garlic (or 2 Cloves fresh, minced)
2 Tbsp. Dehydrated Chopped Onion (or 2 Tbsp. fresh, minced)
1 Small Can Whole Kernel Corn (about 1 cup), drained well
2 Fire Roasted Red Peppers, chopped (jarred, in water)
1 Lb. Shrimp, cleaned & deveined
1 7.75 oz. El Pato (Mexican Style Tomato Sauce)
1 15.5 oz. Can (2 Cups) Chicken Broth
1 Cup uncooked Couscous
Salt & Pepper to taste

If taking on a campout or picnic, do some preparation at home before you go:
1. Peel, clean, devein and dry the shrimp, put in a zip-top baggie place in cooler.
2. Chop 2 Fire Roasted Red Peppers, put in zip-top baggie and place in cooler.
3. If using fresh garlic and onion, mince, put in zip-top baggie and place in cooler.
4. Measure 1 cup dry Couscous, place in zip-top baggie.
Cooking Instructions:
1. Heat the oil over medium flame, in a large, high sided skillet or saucepan that has well-fitting lid.
2. Add dehydrated or fresh garlic and onions, stir and cook until soft.
3. Add the drained Corn and chopped Red Peppers, cook for a minute, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the clean, dry Shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.
5. Add the El Pato and the Broth, stir. Bring to a boil.
6. Add the Couscous, stir, cover and take off the heat.
7. Let the pan sit off the heat with the lid on for about 5 minutes.
8. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Diane’s Variations:
• This dish is delicious with any kind of meat; try it with chopped leftover Chicken or Pork, or even cooked Ground Beef. Use chicken broth if you use pork or chicken, beef broth if you use beef.
• You may use cooked Shrimp, just make sure you dry if off before adding, and don’t cook it for as long before adding liquids.
• This dish is also delicious without meat, as a side dish that’s like Spanish Rice.
• The Corn and Red Peppers are entirely optional, as are Garlic and Onions.
• Substitute 1 small can of Mexi-Corn for the Corn and Fire-Roasted Red Pepper.

Thanks again for a great recipe and Epicurean Cutting Boards.

When Diane isn’t whipping up goodies to eat she is also busy with heading up the new Offroad Passport Forum at


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