Engelbrecht Builds a Grill for America
In January 2012, The U.S. State Department contacted Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers and asked if we would be interested in building a “one-of-kind” grill as a gift that President Barack Obama would present to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron. The catch... the grill, a 1000 series Original Braten, must be 100% American-made and have embellishments on it that would signify the relationship between the US and the UK.
Although Engelbrecht grills are already manufactured with 90-95% U.S. sourced materials, some components had to be tracked down either from old stock or upgraded to specialty hardware to be certain that the parts were made in the US. “The parts we could not find made in the US we had to build ourselves, including some bolts and the wheels” says Engelbrecht.
So how did The State Department find Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers? “They just Googled us” says Chris Engelbrecht. “At first, when I received the call and the Caller ID came up United States Government, I thought somebody was just messing with us. But when I received an e-mail with the address state.gov, I knew that this was legit.”
Chris spent just about every day on the phone with the Protocol Office, vendors and tracking down parts made in the United States... all under a cloak of secrecy as requested by the State Department.
Engelbrecht said he worked on the grill every day for about 2 months and because this was going to be a gift from the President to the Prime Minister, it required a few embellishments such as brass hooks and other various metal types not found on the stock model. “We used a lot of Navel brass in it and ended up making most of the custom parts in our own shop” says Chris.Because of Chris’s strong patriotism and loyalty to his country, the grill was completely donated by Engelbrecht. “I wanted to show that quality products are made in this great country of ours. Because I know we can do this. There’s a million more like us in this country that can build quality American-made products, and I wanted to prove that Americans can do this ... we do this every day.” says Engelbrecht.