The secret is to keep the food moving. Youíre not really cooking -- the blazing-hot grill does all the heavy lifting -- you just need to make sure the various mounds of meat and veggies donít burn.
Thatís the trick I learned last night when I picked up a pair of swords and stepped behind the stir-fry behemoth at B.D.'s Mongolian BBQ in the Arena District.
I was a celebrity chef at Chilliní & Grilliní With Friends, a fundraiser benefiting the Friends of the Red Cross. The event raised nearly $800 for the American Red Cross.
I was just happy that I didnít burn down the building.
Actually, it was a lot of fun, and I think I did pretty well, largely thanks to expert advice from some of B.D.ís real grillers, Ian, Andrew and Burn. They guided me and fellow guest-griller Johnny DiLoretto through the rapid-fire stir-frying: give the grill a squirt of oil; empty the dinerís self-assembled bowl of ingredients; spread and flatten the meal, slicing any large chunks of meat; flip and repeat; add sauce; then ďpullĒ the stir-fry into a bowl, preferably in one neat move.
The flat-top grill, by the way, is big and hot: Itís about eight feet in diameter and easily 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. OK, itís really 600 degrees, but thatís hot. My hatís off to the grillers who flip bowls there full-time (I only worked an hour). They also flip the ďswordsĒ -- the three-foot-long, flat metal implements that are their only tools in cooking. Ian, especially, pulled off some pretty impressive tricks.
Of course, my favorite trick came at the end of my shift: Eating a bowl (or two) of Mongolian barbecue.