This week we interview Muddy Chef competitor and category winner Rick Liwush. Rick and his Son Andy are world class fabricators and builders of one of the most fearsome Series II trucks on the planet (and he’s a super nice guy too!).
1. If Land Rover made an aircraft would you fly in it? Why/Why Not?
Probably not. Unless they teamed up with those who made the Concord. That would be a flight to remember. Just think the first land rover into outer orbit.
2. Tell us a little about your background, your career and where you live.
Even though that it’s fairly new, the Love to Overland bug has bitten me. The ability to drive in the outback and sleep under the stars and get up, break camp and do again the next day is just over the top, it should be on every ones bucket list. Have two grown children, Andy and Victoria. Restoring and building modified vehicles and spending countless hours cooking with both my children is a fathers’ dream. Was born and raised in Rochester New York, presently living in Williamson NY. Spent the last 35 years working in Contract Manufacturing for KAL Manufacturing.
3. How many Land Rovers have you owned and which was your favorite?
7 Land Rovers to date. Our favorite is the 1964 Big Tire series IIA or the LR3. Depends on the function and the mood.
4. What’s the best thing about owning a Land Rover?
The attention it brings, love the thumbs up from other drivers. It is a great way to break the ice at any event. The social aspects outweigh any negative possibilities. Being a Land Rover Owner puts you in a very special class, I have never met any LR owner who doesn’t follow the same rules when you’re behind the wheel, “No Land Rover ever left behind” Each person we have encountered have brought so many great experiences to the table, everyone is so helpful and kind. All are willing to lend a hand or whatever they have to help if you are sidelined. We have done many other events with many different clubs etc… but none are of the class of those who have the ownership of a Land Rover.
5. What’s the worst thing about owning a Land Rover?
People keep calling it a Jeep.
Maybe the leaks when it rains.
6. Been on an adventure? – tell us about it
Just got back from SCARR in Texas, what a great show. The people were so friendly and over 100 land rovers in attendance. Fantastic trails, unbelievable views and trails for all types. Interesting weather. Out of this world event dinner on Saturday. This club puts on one great event. If you haven’t done it is worth the time off from work. When we were invited to SCARR I was told that that if you could only go to one event this year, this would be the one we should go to. The challenges of the terrain is so different than what we entertain ourselves out here in the east. The Red dirt, gets everywhere were still washing it out of our LR. The networking of new friends was over the top. We even bumped into one of our sponsors’ of Muddy Chef.
Carnage, of course there was, we saw all different kinds, but without carnage where is the challenge. But there was one instance where you just have to hand out the award of “what were you thinking?”, Driver of a Landy minus brakes = totaling your front end, Driver came to event knowingly that his brakes were not in great shape but still proceeded to go wheeling anyways. After crushing his left front due to lack of braking on a downward slope, all the driver wanted to do was blame everyone else, “Here’s your sign”.
7. How do you plan to beat the competition this year at the Muddy Chef Challenge?
If everything is done proper, like having individual tents for each category with no more than 3 judges per tent, so that to eliminate long lines and food getting cold this event should be one of the best ever. You can’t always make everyone happy but each year you learn for the year before, and the biggest squawk was the long time to present to the judges Eric if you really want to make this an all-star event than we need to step it up and separate the judges into their respectable classes.
Which in turns creates less stress on all involved both participants and judges.
Make time for those who plan on doing both the standard competition and for those who are also competing in the iron / chopped/ top chef event.
So to answer the question fairly, if the above is accomplished then we as participants can let the food do the talking. We been preparing for this since the last event, our thinking and testing of recipes are from simple to way outside the box thoughts. It really isn’t about winning it’s about sharing the experience and bring them home with you. Pass the donuts please… ohhhh they were so good…..
So get ready judges, sit back, take a big bite, close your eyes and let us entertain your culinary pallets.
8. If you could ask Land Rover for a particular type of vehicle what would it be?
A vehicle similar to the defender 110 but with some larger tire options and make interior roll bars standard, for the Queens sake we all know that most of these are used for work or Fun. We are not purchasing them to sit in the driveway. We are men of means and with that said make one that we all can afford here and on the other side of the pond. Just use the data that Ford motor company did in the sixties, build a fun, smart looking and affordable vehicle, make your target the middle class and build hundreds of thousands of them and watch your sales and profits rise.
9. What upgrades/modifications does your Land Rover have?
As seen at the last event the 1964 has been slightly modified…lol, heck, it’s been over hauled to the max. let’s start with the 37 inch Maxis Trepador competition tires, under the bonnet is a Ford 302 punched out to 347, McClould clutch, Spidertrax housing front and rear, Spidertrax ultimate 60 knuckles with Spidertrax bearings, Spidertrax rotors and drive flange kit, Spidertrax 35 spline axils up front and Dutchman 35 spline in the back, Hi-9 s front and back with 4.56 gears, ARB air lockers , Atlas 3.8 transfer case, Tom Woods drive shafts, PSC full hydro double ended ram steering, Griffen Radiator. ARB compressor, Wilwood 4 piston calipers, Currie anti rock sway bar, Wilwood peddles , Out front is a RED Winch Hornet – S , 18 gallon fuel cell, King coilovers on all four corners, bump stops and Pro Comp limit straps. Lighting by Baja, Kirkey Seats and 4 point harness all custom metal work was laser cut at KAL Manufacturing, External cage, 4 link’s custom built by son Andy Liwush.
10. If you were on safari what three people (living or dead) would you pick to bring along?
Bear Grylls, , to learn how to survive in all different situations
Thomas Jefferson, to have those star light campfire talks sipping on fine wines and tasting special preserves and talking about everything related to food.
Bill Clinton, for his love of Cigars… need we say more.
I have the privilege to work and ride with Rick and Andy. They are two awesome guys who I am so thankful to meet up with. Thanks for the GREAT times and looking forward to lots more.