This may have been one of the only moments in that car ride we smiled as we sat anxiously, in traffic for two accidents on the Five that blocked five lanes of a six-lane highway. We patiently waited through bumper-to-bumper traffic, saw B. Smith pass us on his Hog, was cut-off by another carload of bladers, and—like at a family dinner—it forced the three of us that work too much to sit down together, shoot the shit, and catch up with our surrogate blader family.
Double glances were made as some of the OGs showed wear of age. White facial hair, some that had beards back in the day were clean cut with razored beards to deal with the corporate world and made it unrecognizable for people I could have spotted from the stands during an ASA competition.
Besides re-meeting old blading flames, we were introduced to new people of this world, daughters and sons, from blading father’s. Weird to think of the people that have shared the sweat and blood on the same concrete just a few years ago starting to settling down.
Watching the style on these individuals top-soul, royale, fishbrain, sweatstance, defined the generation they represented, the legacy they left, and how far blading has come along today. Like riding a bike, they just had to shake off the rust, and everyone still had it; B-Love backsides, JoeJoe’s royales, Julio’s mute to fishbrain, Roadhouse’s sweatstances, Louie Z’s backslide to truespin mizou.
Latimer had separated himself, in beach-shorts, and bladed kiddie pools that no one would imagine a trick on. DL was the first brave blader that was too good and evolved an artistic style of blading, grinding obstacles no one would even consider, and only he was able to do. His artistic eye has been a huge motivational force in what I believe the company he left, Xsjado, still delivers upon.
Walking back into the bladepark with Steve Zamora, we jumped in on his session. I had to play it cool and not let my ’97 little kid jump out and ask for his autograph. I did what I did best, and like two musicians finding harmony while making music, I bladed with Dustin. I tried to jump different things, he made it to the end of a huge gap, I slid on my ass once or twice. Knock “share creative juices with the Xsjado founder himself” off of my blading bucket list.
After shredding and catching up with the old ones I got hungry.
Roadhouse came in with fresh caught fish as he is now a fisher on the side. Rock fish, halibut, and some other white fish. Not working with much, I was able to be useful for once, and share my culinary skills with my blading friends, the people that were there before being a Chef.
Here are some grilling tips to make a well cooked fish:
- Salt and pepper: Fish is delicious by itself, you may marinade it for an hour or two before, or rub it with a spice mix, but sometimes a properly salted fish cooked right can say so much more. I salted the fish like snow sprinkling, gently speckling the surface, and then coated it in olive oil for an even burn.
- Find the hot spot on the grill: I cautiously placed my hand over the grill and depending on how far away I could put my hand to the grill without touching it, I was able to determine how fast I would cook, if I were a fish. Knowing that fish is a quick grilling item, I placed the fish on a medium-high hot area. I knew that if I placed it on a really hot area I would have to rotate it and it would not allow the center to cook properly.
- Rotate the fish: I placed the fish sideways and rotated it 90 degrees to create the hash marks. Besides making the fish look delicious, rotating the fish also allows more time to cook on a particular side.
- Poke it: to test to see if the meat is properly cooked. A fish will flake when poked. Anymore than that, and it will suck away all the juices making it hard, dry, and tough.
- Lemon: Lastly, right before I served it, I adjusted the salt and pepper, and squeezed a few drops of lemon juice onto the fish to brighten up the grilled smokey flavors.
Happy summer and I look forward to visiting your blader BBQ.
— CHEF MICHAEL OBEDOZA
(Michael Obedoza lives in Carson, Calif., and is a 2009 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He is sponsored by Xsjado. Check out his blog at obedobe.com.)