The owners and operators of the now-Los Angeles based Grill ‘Em All burger truck are two Rocky River natives, Ryan Harkins and Matthew Chernus. The metal fans (both former members of local bands) named their signature burgers after rock bands Behemoth and Molly Hatchet, and wrestler Samoa Joe.
During the contest, which brings Grill ‘Em All and their six competitors to various locations throughout the United States, each truck was given a $400 budget with which to procure all of the local ingredients needed to create their culinary masterpieces. Anything not spent out of that budget went into that truck’s profits, which were then added up to determine the winners for each city.
Harkins and Chernus were working in Cleveland -area bars and restaurants’, cutting their foodie chops, when they noticed the growing food truck trend in sunny Los Angeles. Realizing that a food truck would require less overhead than the restaurant they were thinking of starting, they moved west and Grill ‘Em All was born.
Although the truck may be based in California, their Midwestern-style hamburgers and “Cleveland Wing (complete with defaced Lebron James sticker)” of the truck pay homage to their hometown.
When asked what they both missed the most about Cleveland, the answers came fast and furious: the West Side Market, Lola’s, Great Lakes Brewery, Ohio bratwurst, fresh pierogi’s, and Sokolowski’s University Inn in Tremont.
The Food Network approached Harkins and Chernus for the show, after seeing them on the Travel Channel’s Food Wars. After several interviews and casting, they were in. How did they do in the contest? You’ll have to watch and find out!