A Brief History of Grill Club

A Brief History of Grill Club  

Eighteenth-century Grillmaster Brother Chopper saw Grill Club as a primarily Deist enterprise.


Grill Club Origins:

Myths, Legends and Fact

Though Grill Club NYC dates its official founding to the year 1609, when Brother Bever held the very first Challenge on the banks of what is now known as the Hudson River, some traditions hold that the origins of Grill Club lay even earlier in Man's distant past. Let's explore some of these stories and theories ....


Some date Grill Club's earliest incarnation to ancient Sumeria, when the god-king of Uruk legendarily laid out a mighty feast of oxen, lions and shedu. He even felled a mighty monster in a cedar forest so he could retrieve wood planks for grilling fish, but he angered the gods and learned a valuable grilling lesson: Eventually, all coals must go cold.


Some say the Grill Club torch was passed to Moses, who discovered an already-burning holy Grill Club Challenge on Mount Sinai. Given the gift of Grill Club by Providence, he went on to share it with his people.


Meanwhile, Grill Club techniques were already being honed in other parts of the world, pointing to even more possible origins for Grill Club. These tablets from the Indus Valley civilization (circa 2600-1900 B.C.) are believed to depict early proto-Grillmasters selecting beasts for a Challenge.


This Shang Dynasty barbecue grill from China (circa 1600-1046 B.C.), was obviously intended for patio use.


The Grill Club tradition may have been responsible for the sudden and unprecedented conversion of the pharaoh Akhenaten, who announced a new official religion for ancient Egypt--the worship of Aten, god of the sun and good barbecue.


Many Grill Club archaeologists posit that Grill Club took permanent root in Western society under Emperor Augustus. As evidence, these scholars point to what are believed to be the very first Grill Club medals ever stamped, with Augustus (r.) and the general and statesman Marcus Vipsania Agrippa (l.) on the front and a Challenge meat on the reverse. (These scholars further point to the exotic nature of the Challenge as proof of how widespread Grill Club was under Augustus's relatively benevolent reign.)


A large contingent of the Mosaic School believes that an especially successful Grill Club Challenge was held circa 29-36 A.D. in a second-floor dining room on Mount Zion.


Much unkinder emperors than Augustus, with less-than-stellar fire-safety habits, however, were less successful with their Grill Club Challenges, notably among them Nero.


With the decline of the Roman Empire, Grill Club no longer enjoyed the cohesion it did under great leaders and able administrators such as Augustus, Claudius, Trajan or Marcus Aurelius. Occasional bright spots in grilling history in these turbulent times included the Emperor Constantine, above shown accepting a first-place award from the personification of Grill Club, according to some scholars.


Repeatedly from the 11th century to the 13th century, supposed European Grillmasters tried to hold large-scale outdoor Grill Club Challenges in the Near East. Most were notable failures, but many Grill Club Orders date their founding to this era.


In the Western hemisphere, meanwhile, large-scale migrations in the early to mid-13th century brought grilling techniques to a wider range fo cultures. In the 16th-century Codex Mendoza (part of which is depicted above) and similar illustrated histories, there is evidence that the practices of the Aztecs included barbecuing of deer, ducks, turkeys, pocket gophers, fish, shrimp, human beings, boars, iguanas, axolotls and a variety of insects even as far back as the time the Nahuatl-speaking peoples lived in the mythical land Aztlan. Eventually, overpopulation and other factors caused meat to become extremely scarce, making barbecues rare and also making it very unlikely that Aztec society was the true birthplace of Grill Club.


A splinter faction of renegade Grill Club historians points to Grill Club influence over the Dominican Order during the Spanish Inquisition. Such speculation is totally inaccurate and should not be further entertained. Grill Club NYC strongly discourages any more dissemination of such falsehoods.


Some popular-fiction writers have latched on to more obscure Grill Club historical mysteries and theories, including that "Brother" Giocondo was involved in a centuries-old conspiracy to protect the secret of the lineage of the One True Grillmaster. (For example, supporters of these conjectures interpret "Brother" Giocondo's "Annunciation," above, for example, as the Virgin Mary reciting a barbecue-mop recipe to the Archangel Gabriel.) While no credible Grill Club historian takes such flights of fancy seriously, they add an element of whimsy and creativity that help ensure that Grill Club lore will be "with it" and "groovy" among future generations of Grillmasters for ages to come.