Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
To design and build the best outdoor cooking and entertaining equipment in the world.
The company traces its lineage back to 1906, when the Kalamazoo Sheet Metal Company was founded to make stainless steel equipment for the dairy industry. Though heralded for its seamless welds, which reduced bacteria to ensure food safety, the company faced a challenge when the local dairy industry declined in the 1990s. Looking for ways to repurpose employees’ welding skills, the founder’s great-grandson got the game-changing idea to make grills. In 2005, the company came under new ownership and was rebranded as Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. Its headquarters moved to Chicago.
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s attention to detail jumps out at you from the moment you effortlessly lift the 60-pound hood of one of its grills. You’ll experience a work of art, where separate pieces of stainless steel become a seamless whole using a hand-rubbed finish. In making its outdoor kitchen cabinets, the company is the only manufacturer to use stainless steel slides on drawers and shelves to prevent rusting. Cabinet bodies are welded by hand to guarantee a lifetime of durability and service. Pizza ovens can bake a Neapolitan-style pizza in less than three minutes, and its refrigerators keep ice cream frozen even when the air on the other side of the door reaches 110 degrees.
MADE IN THE U.S.A.
Each outdoor kitchen product is built-to-order and shipped direct from its Kalamazoo workshop to homes around the globe. The company is committed to purchasing every raw material possible from U.S. sources. When Scott Kohler,
vice president of operations, joined the team nine years ago, he tightened supply sourcing. “I started [identifying] vendors from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor to get [our supplies] closer and closer for better control. Plus, it keeps [investment] in the region,” said Kohler.
SO, WHAT’S COOKED UP IN KALAMAZOO?
Premium grills, pizza ovens, cabinets, and luxury cooking equipment for residential outdoor kitchens.
REPUTATION AND INNOVATION
The company is best known for its Hybrid Fire Grills that cook with charcoal, wood, and gas. Its product line also includes weather-tight cabinetry, forced-air refrigeration, and a powerful countertop pizza oven that have all raised the bar for design and performance in outdoor kitchens.
Team members who make each custom-ordered grill sign their work before packaging it up for delivery. These signatures have come to represent the company’s quality and pride in
a job well done.
ABOUT THE KALAMAZOO HYBRID FIRE GRILL
The Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill earned the nickname “The Rolls Royce of Barbecue Grills” from a Forbes writer. The product’s performance is responsible for winning it that distinction, rather than its price, which ranges from $15,795 to $28,995. The grill allows you to cook with gas like you would do on a normal grill but also offers a charcoal or wood experience on a hybrid drawer. Grillers can cook interchangeably in any combination and at different temperatures—at the same time.
The patios of celebrity grilling enthusiasts like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jimmy Fallon, and chef Rick Bayless house Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s products. “Our customers are people who love to cook and who will do everything they can to have the best gear in their backyard. Then, there are others who crave a piece to show off during parties,” said Kohler. “You can find our products from the Hamptons to Los Angeles, Dubai to Australia.”
Russ Faulk is Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s resident grillmaster, barbecue cookbook author, and chief designer. When he’s not grilling or designing products, Russ develops and teaches programs on outdoor kitchen design and helps customers with their own kitchen designs. His favorite things to cook on a custom Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet grill are Kalamazoo Sliders topped with German Cambozola, a triple cream blue brie, and Grilled Croissant S’mores.
In September 2018, the company announced a doubling of its manufacturing footprint in Southwest Michigan by investing $3.1 million in its Kalamazoo facility. Additionally, it planned to boost its workforce by creating 31 jobs.
Vice President, Operations
WHO WORKS THERE
- Metal Fabricators
- Product Engineers
- Quality Engineers
- Production Schedulers
“Someone who is passionate, driven, and has lots of pride in their work. Tons of it,” said Kohler. “Sometimes it takes eight to nine people to find the one.”
If you think that you have what it takes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shish kabob, anyone? Download the complete product catalog or find a dealer near you at kalamazoogourmet.com.