Locals’ grill table makes outdoor entertaining more interactive


Carmel Valley residents Karim and Shahin Pirani’s new business IBBQ hopes to get people to slow down from today’s fast-paced lifestyle and embrace the traditional concept of having the entire family sit down for a meal. The Piranis are bringing people together with IBBQ’s new modern outdoor grill and dining table, the Angara Maximus.

The company launched the product in Del Mar on March 9 serving party guests steaks, shrimp and vegetables grilled right in front of them as they sat around the table.

The Piranis

The Angara Maximus table is handcrafted in the United States from imported African teak and high-grade stainless steel. Tables come in four, six and eight-seaters, and there is also a less expensive option, the Angara Regula, which is made of domestic cedar.

Shahin Pirani, who serves as the CEO of IBBQ (which stands for Interactive BBQ), also owns the Raayna Threading and Henna Studio in Del Mar with her daughter Selina. A longtime entrepreneur, Karim ran a successful hedge fund that invested in internet companies and was able to retire early — he has come out of retirement to create a few online ventures of his own.

The Piranis found the table while they were living in their London apartment. They had hired a landscape architect to design their outdoor patio and the designer suggested the couple attend the Royal Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, held on the expansive grounds of King Henry VIII’s former castle, in order to get some ideas for the yard.

“As soon as we walked into the show, we saw the table. Shahin immediately made a beeline for it and said, ‘We have to buy this table,’” Karim said.

Karim balked at the price and also the fact that they still had 150 acres to explore and they had barely stepped foot into the expo. He insisted they keep looking, but by the end of the day, the table remained at the exit and they bought it.

For the next two and a half months in London, they hosted several friends from back home in San Diego.

Guests enjoy the Angara Maximus at a March 9 launch party. (Courtesy)

“Everyone said, ‘This table should be in California’,” Karim said. “We would spend 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the table, nobody wanted to leave. We started to call it the interactive barbecue table because everyone would sit around it having an amazing time.”

Once in San Diego with the table, the pair called the table’s inventor, Anthony Grove, and encouraged him to sell his tables in the United States, as the climate was much more conducive to outdoor entertaining than London. Grove asked the couple if they would be interested in buying the company —Karim couldn’t resist and instead bought the global naming rights after finding out the website IBBQ.com and phone number 1-800-Yes-IBBQ were both available.

With IBBQ, the Piranis plan to improve and expand on Grove’s original design. The original model was built by hand in England with the grill unit from China, but Karim insisted that the table be built in the U.S.

They found a company in Michigan that has been building burners for the last 54 years — the family-owned business’ in-laws happened to be in the furniture industry, so the entire table is able to be American-made from the imported African teak Iroko.

African teak is a low-maintenance wood: Shahin said it’s easy to clean with a damp cloth. Even better, the top grill easily comes off and instead of needing to be cleaned with a wire brush, it is small enough to be picked up and thrown in the dishwasher.

Shahin said the biggest thing she noticed when they got the table was that their children stuck around. She said usually when guests are over, the children don’t like to stay around the table and socialize.

“What we discovered is that our children won’t even let us cook, they take over,” Shahin said. “They sit around for hours and don’t get bored, enjoying the outdoors. It really brings families and friends together.”

The table has features such as customizable LED lighting and security locks, but Karim said the best feature is the social aspect and how it truly brings everyone together around a meal.

“Usually the host is always stuck behind the grill. With this table, you can be the host and can enjoy and be part of the party, that’s what’s magic about this table,” Karim said.

To learn more about the Angara tables, visit ibbq.com or call 1-800-Yes-IBBQ.