An Open Letter to Traeger Grills

I waited awhile on this one, both to gather my facts, and cool my head.

I don’t post things like this often, as I prefer to focus on the positive (and the food!), but at the same time I believe, as I state below, that “those who are silent, are understood to consent.”

…and I hate bullies.

~Chef Perry

To whom is may concern:

As a chef, food blogger, and cookbook author, I have been a die-hard Traeger fan for many years. I love the product (especially my Tex) and have dedicated many blog posts to the recipes I cook, and share, on it.

I wanted to write and let you know why I’m now looking at other manufacturers.

As a professional in the food industry, I spend a great deal of time on social media; marketing my work, researching and sharing new recipes, and just talking with folks about grilling and smoking.

A few years back, I was directed, by a Traeger employee, to check out the Facebook group: Traeger Grill Owners (, which I then joined.

As someone who uses social media, and especially  Facebook, on a daily basis, I need to let you know that this is, by far, the worst group I’ve ever been a part of.

Over the course of my membership to that group, I have seen countless new members constantly mocked and ridiculed for asking basic grilling questions, expressing product concerns, or mentioning any other brand that they use.

Name-calling, harassment, and bullying are the norm, and the number of people banned from the group for a first “offense” (questions, concerns, etc.,) is an almost daily occurrence, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen on a Facebook group, either as a member or an admin.

The admin(s) are completely unresponsive to any requests for explanations of why posts or members are banned, or why these behaviors from specific members is tolerated, seeming to rely on a small group of “Good Ol’ Boys” to enforce or justify their decisions. Whether this is a deliberate tactic, or simply an inability to enforce rule, I don’t know, but it’s the reality.

There are, in fact, groups comprised specifically of people who have left, or been banned from, that group:

banned from traeger grill owners:

Traeger Grill Owners Anyone Can Join:

The fact that these groups, combined, have more than 3,000 members, as opposed to just 260 in Traeger Grill Owners, should be very telling.

The fact that they are both popular, thriving groups, while focusing on the positive, reaching out and helping new and prospective owners, and just generally enjoying the product and each other, should be very telling to Traeger Grill Owners.

Yet, it is still one of the first group that is shown, on a Facebook group search for “Traeger.” Likely because of a very high join rate, and NOT based on average membership.

As a business, Traeger needs to ask itself:

If so many people have left that group to join these others, how many more, especially first time Traeger users (the core of any business’s marketing efforts) and those considering purchasing your products, have just given up on the brand, entirely.

After a lifetime as a professional chef, I have a pretty thick skin…many others, however, do not.

Nonetheless, after two years of this, I finally gave up and left the group (before being banned, myself). I only wish I had done so earlier.

This group is hurting your business, however unfairly, and pushing people away from your product. Other brands, and their users, are actually using the negative experiences of the Traeger Grill Owners page to encourage people to choose or switch to their product

And it’s working.

I don’t know if Traeger, as a company, has any control or influence over this group, but if you do, I suggest that you use it, quickly. I’m not the only one that has left this group with a bad taste for Traeger in their mouths…and I’m not the only one with a platform to share my experience.

I’m not looking for an apology, or anything else, from your company, and I have not given up on you, and I’m not writing from any vindictiveness of spirit, but truly believe that “those who are silent, are understood to consent.”

Please make sure that this message is relayed up the corporate ladder to those who need to know what’s going on.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration,

Perry P. Perkins

*This letter was sent to Traeger Grills, via their website ( on January 4th, 2018. Any responses will be added to this post immediately.


Name a Food You Can’t Stand

Name a food you can't stand

This is a tough question for me, as I tend to like everything, and my tastes tend to go far deeper into the pool than most. (Gimme a fried cricket over a potato chip, all day long! 😉 )

Also, I am by nature predisposed to dislike “contempt prior to investigation” and, as I teach the kids, I prefer to categorize foods by “things I haven’t had prepared in a way I like…YET”, as opposed to label things “I don’t like.”

In other words, I may “eat with my eyes first”, but I refuse to pass judgement until my tastebuds have weighed in!

As far as things that most people seem to like, that I haven’t discovered a love for (yet), I guess I’d have to go with any fresh fruit combined with chocolate.

I’ve tried many, many versions, and, while I’ll eat my weight in white chocolate covered pretzels, I just can’t seem to get a taste for berries, bananas, or any other fruit dipped in chocolate (but, by all means, feel free to try to change my mind!)

How about you, what do YOU say no to, when everyone else seems to be scarfing it down?

~Chef Perry

Hello my friend…

A letter to the bullied

Hello my friend…

I’m writing this letter to the young man who stutters, or has an acne problem, or is just smaller than everyone else. To the young lady who never seems to know what to say, or may be carrying a few extra pounds, or who’s skin is a different color than everyone else in class.

You may not believe it, but once upon a time, I was the littlest kid in class. An only child with a sick mom, a sever speech impediment, coke-bottle glasses, and a thrift-store wardrobe…in other words, I was an easy target.

You know what I’m talking about.

Bullies made my life a nightmare from the 3rd grade, through most of high-school. With no real friends or defenders, it was a frightening, lonely way to grow up, and I still carry some of those scars, on my skin and on my heart, forty years later, and I always will.

So will you.

Bullies suck, and so does being bullied.

You don’t deserve it, you didn’t ask for it, and it’s not happening because there’s anything wrong with YOU. You are amazing. You are beautiful, and there is not another living soul on earth who is like you. That makes you a treasure beyond price.

Maybe your parents don’t understand, maybe your teachers and coaches were never bullied, and can’t relate, but you’re not alone.

You are SO not alone.

Your bullies are weak, and scared, and small. So small on the inside that the only thing that makes them feel good about themselves is to make someone else feel bad.

How sad is that?

But, you know what? There’s a gift in being bullied.

That can be hard to accept, believe me, I know.

But it’s true.

It can make you strong. It can make you brave. But most importantly, it can make you…kind.

And it’s not easy (but you’re used to things not being easy, aren’t you?)

You see, when you know what it feels like, the fear, the confusion, the betrayal, the pain…you can choose to let it make you bitter, to make you as small inside as the ones who hurt you, OR you can use it to guide how you treat others, how you speak to others in pain, how you protect and defend those weaker than you. How to choose compassion and mercy, over hate.

How you be exactly the kind of hero that you lay awake longing for.

Hate is easy, any small-minded weakling can hate. But love…love and kindness are the strongest powers in the universe, and when you have that strength, you cannot be beaten.

Because you…YOU…know.

And because you know, you have greatness in you.

You are developing a strength that many will never attain, no matter how fast, or smart, or rich, or pretty. A strength of heart, and of mind.

You will be able to see things others don’t, do things other’s can’t.

And the world needs you…desperately. They need you more and more every day, because it’s people like you…like US…that have the power to make the world a better place…because we know.

chef-perry-perkinsChoose Kindness, little hero, and hang in there.

It will get better…I promise.

Your friend,

Chef Perry

If you’ve know what I’m talking about, please share this.

If not, share it anyway, you never know who’s reading.

C’mon Help a parent out!


So, this post is a little off-topic, but I’ll try to make it as relevant as I can.

Just got an iPad mini for my daughter and, after loading the Amazon Video app, discovered there is no way to organize purchased movies by category (mine vs. hers) or even by descriptive folders.

This is crazy!

I have a LOT of movies, many of them are PG-13 or R Rated, and I don’t want her scrolling through those, just to find the ones I buy for her! (and I buy her a LOT of movies, because she has me wrapped around her little finger…)

Since foodie-friendly movies often have scenes that “sizzle” (and I don’t mean on the grill), as well as include the native language of the kitchen, this is unacceptable to me.


The last thing I want my daughter shouting in the middle of the grocery store is, “IT WAS f****** MOLTEN!” 😉

Nor do I want her mother to beat me to death with a bag of frozen peas.


I read a thread on the Amazon Forum, which started on Aug 23, 2015, titled, “organizing video library” where dozens of paying customers have asked for this feature, and yet after almost 2 years there has not been a single response from Amazon!

C’mon guys!

This irked me…and I don’t like to be irked. Being a chef, you can probably guess that I don’t do “irked” well.

Now, I love Amazon, and it’s my #1 movie and TV show source of choice (I’m a long-time Prime member), but I know how business works. Profit = priority, lol, so in that light, I sent a message to the Bezoites, letting them know that I am (much to my disappointment) boycotting movie and television purchases from Amazon until this issue has been addressed, nor will I re-up my Prime Membership.

Drastic times call for drastic measure, and all that.

The point of all this personal angst, here on my ChefPerry page, is that I will be posting the link to this message on various related boards in hopes that other will send Amazon the same message (below) from their own accounts, and share it with others.

That’s right…I’m starting a “movement”…protests and rioting coming soon!

I feel so Micheal Moore! (but I’m hoping the nausea will pass before dinnertime…)

Anyhoo…here’s the text of my message to, along with screen shots to help folks post it.


(Note: this text has been edited to fit the word-count limits in Amazon’s message feature. If you add anything, it might not fit. Definitely feel free to personalize it, tho!) Help a parent out!

Hey guys,

Just got an iPad for my daughter and, after loading the Amazon Video app, discovered there is no way to organize purchased movies by category (Mine vs. hers) or by folder. This is crazy! I have a LOT of movies, many of them are PG-13 or R Rated, and I don’t want her scrolling through those, just to find the ones I buy for her.

I read a thread on the Amazon Forum, which started on Aug 23, 2015, titled, “organizing video library” where dozens of paying customers have asked for this, and yet after almost 2 years there has not been a single response from Amazon!

C’mon guys!

I love Amazon, and you’re my #1 movie and TV show of source (I’m a long-time Prime member), but I know how business works. Profit = priority, lol, so in that light, I am (much to my disappointment) boycotting all movie and television purchases from Amazon until this issue has been addressed, nor will I re-up my Prime Membership.

Please don’t make me do that! 😉

Your fan,




Open your Amazon account page, scroll down to the bottom, and click on “Contact Us”
Choose “Digital Services”, then select “Amazon Video”, “How-to Questions”, and paste in the title of the message.
Copy and Paste the message I posted above (or your own!), and click “Send E-Mail”
If your feedback went through, you’ll see this message!

C’mon America…

Let’s make Amazon Video great again!

(Don’t make me make a whiny movie…)

~Chef Perry

Want to help me feed hungry families, teach at-risk & special-needs kids to cook for themselves and their families, and change lives?

Become a patron!

Chef Perry Patreon Page

Notes from the Hipster Coast

mozzarella-stuffed-meatball-pasta-2Had someone question the “authenticity and integrity” of a recipe I posted a few days ago. (This is this week’s “issue to be outraged about”, here on the Hipster Coast…)

First of all…go find a girlfriend, dude. Get a pen-pal, join the chess club, something…it’s just food!

Second, I can’t help but wonder if he eats cheese or sour cream on his tacos, meatballs with his spaghetti, or anything on his pizza but cheese and sauce?

Has he ever had a “California Roll” or General Tsao Chicken?

It’s amazing how much some people think they know, lol.

Okay, muzzling the snark box…

~Chef Perry


On Recipes


Sometimes, when someone gets especially snarky about a vague direction or ingredient amount, or complains about not having enough “step by step” pictures in my recipes, I smile and think about this little book.

This belonged to my dad, Chef Frank Perkins (and he probably got it from HIS dad, who was also a chef.)

He just called it “The Reminder” (copyright 1909) and it was the only “cookbook” he owned. He kept it in his knife roll, and it went everywhere he cooked. He gave it to me when he retired.

IMG_6030As you can see, there are no pictures, no measurements, just brief descriptions of the elements of finished dishes. Got a chicken in the freezer? The book “reminds” you of the various dishes you can make…and assumes that you know how.

I learned to cook many, many dishes out of this little book.

So, if I don’t seem to get my knickers in a twist every time someone gets all uppity about my usage of  vague terms like “a pinch”, “a handful”, or “a little bit more”….you might understand, lol.

~Chef Perry

Beer and A Big Mixer

Today’s post from my pal, Chef Chris…


I received a text from my friend Terry this morning. He needed help with his new to him commercial stand mixer. He is finally starting his baking business. Terry is by far the best baker I have ever known. His bread will make your meal. His cakes are a religious experience. His wife and family have finally given him the push to start what he has been talking about for year.Terry's bread

Terry picked me up on the home from getting the mixer. First we ran over to Hawaiian Time a little Hawaiian restaurant for plate lunch and then next door to the Growler Run one of my favorite beer places. The the Growler Run always has a great selection of beers. Terry likes beer even more than I do and it’s always great to enjoy a pint with him. Today I had a Suicide Squeeze from Fort George. It’s a great…

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