So President Obama is busy these days with British Prime Minister David Cameron discussing things political leaders need to discuss. It's when they chill (especially when they eat) that we pay attention. So it was good to see Barack and David chomping on hot dogs at an NCAA March Madness game Tuesday night.
And for the big Wednesday night dinner, White House exec chef Cristeta Comerford is cooking up veggies from the White House garden, bison Wellington and a steamed lemon pudding. British folk-rockers Mumford & Sons as well as John Legend are performing.
But the juicy bit: Cameron gave Obama a pool table (you know, with the Olympics in London and all that). And Obama gifted Cameron with a barbecue grill. Not just any grill, of course: It's got a little plaque and British and U.S. "friendship flags." And it's a one-of-a-kind, made-in-Paxton (just 2 hours south of Chicago on Interstate 57) number from Engelbrecht Grills & Cookers, a company started in a garage by its founder, a metal fabricator and certified welder.
Over in Paxton, the phone at Engelbrecht's has been ringing off the hook, the grillmaker's Kyle Bloomstrand tells us. Cameron's new grill is from Engelbrecht's 1000 Braten series where prices start at $1,895 for a basic model. Bloomstrand referred most of our questions to State Department folks who helpfully offered that "the grill was donated by Engelbrecht so (there's) no cost to the taxpayer."
But for grill cooks, we love this: It's "versatile enough that you can produce exceptional grilling, smoking, southern style bbq, western style bbq," promises the website. You can do wood-fire cooking "and it's sized right to take whole logs." And, "Everytime you fire up an Engelbrecht grill, expect the coal grates to exceed temperatures of 1000 degrees."
Sounds like the perfect addition to 10 Downing Street for grilling up sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms for a proper English breakfast. Or maybe the prime minister will take it out to his place in the Cotswolds.