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Pizzas to Podiums - The Story Of The Man Behind The Turski Burger

Jul 29, 2023
Ice Age Culinary
Pizzas to Podiums - The Story Of The Man Behind The Turski Burger

I met Tony Turski in July of 2014. 

I was running the Paleo Nick's food booth at The CrossFit Games in Carson, California and he and his wife, Heather, had just signed up for my Alaskan Culinary Adventure.

They stopped by the booth to introduce themselves and I felt an instant connection to these two amazing people. 

We traveled together to Alaska the following month and spent a week at the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge in the Alaskan Bush.

Little did I know this was the start of a decade-long friendship. Tony and I have since been to Tennessee, Boston, Miami, NYC, Nicaragua, London, Paris, and many other places together.

Tony leading a beach workout in Nicaragua circa 2015. Does it get any cooler?

Here's a list of my top five memories with my friend Tony Turski:

  1. Culinary Adventures - Tony joined me in Alaska and Nicaragua when we ran the adventure program from 2014 - 2016. Here's a picture of Tony and his wife Heather at the bottom of Strandline Lake, a glacial lake that had drained only days earlier. (You can see the stranded icebergs.) Can you say, "once in a lifetime adventure"? 
  2. Power Monkey Camp - We cooked for the first four, maybe five, Power Monkey Camps in Crossville, Tennessee. He was in his early 50's at that time and I have a vivid memory of him snuggling up in a youth camp bunk bed. :) Here's the kitchen crew from the Fall of 2015.
  3. Europe - For one year, Tony allowed me the privilege to coach him. As his coach, he brought me to The Athlete Games in Manchester, UK. We went to London and took the Chunnel to Paris. I'll never forget the time he left his iPad and his iPhone on the train just as a transportation strike started. They closed the doors and wouldn't let him back on the train to get his stuff. Can you say, "Welcome to France"? Here's a picture of Tony and I at the Eiffel Tower gift shop trying on berets.
  4. Sardine Lake - While living in Truckee and getting Ice Age Meals off the ground, Tony came to mentor me through the tough times. We escaped for an afternoon and brought my canoe up to Sardine Lake near Sierra City, California. Here's a picture of us crossing Lower Sardine Lake. 
  5. Tony Turns 60 - One of the highlights of our relationship was being part of Tony's surprise 60th Birthday party. I flew in with a box full of brisket and we pulled out all the stops. While you typically can't pull the wool over the old man's eyes, we pulled of a sincere surprise and I got to see the live action! Here's a picture from the party as Tony tearfully talks to the community that loves him so much. 

I have endless other memories and stories to tell, but those are for the campfire!

Tony has been a pillar in my life since the day I met him. He's not a "yes man" and that's perhaps what I like most about him. He has helped me through the gauntlet of business time and again and has invested countless hours to help me become the man I am today.

He is a model father, business man, husband, gym-owner and human being. Those who know him know what I am saying; there are not words to describe his selflessness and love. Perhaps the best part about Tony is his wife, Heather, but I'll have to expand on that in a post dedicate to her...

What's the point, Nick? 

A few things:

  1. Tony has been a customer and supporter of Ice Age Meals since we started. He always had the idea of a Burger with Rice and a Burger with Yams. Earlier this year, we made this happen and launched the Turski Burger. It has quickly become one of our top meals and you should give it a try. We have also launched a limited "smoker full" of Turski Burger - Bison Edition, so check it out! 
  2. Tony is a CrossFit Games competitor. He was 2nd in the world for his age group in 2022 and he will return to the competition floor in Madison next week. Would you join me in cheering him back to the podium? He's seeded 3rd in the 60-64 Men's age group and you can watch him on the leaderboard here. Tony bringing bags of beef!
  3. Tony is the Godfather of The IAMFAM. He has worked with us at countless Culinary Ninja Seminars, Regionals and Games booths, catering gigs, etc... He came to Reno to help during the Shark Tank frenzy and he's always been just a phone call away. He is the owner of Turn2CrossFit and Everwell Studio in Murrieta, California and if you ever get the chance to meet him, he will lift your spirit. In Miami, seen on the far left with Heather on the far right.

Tony, if you're reading this, I love you. You've poured into me for nearly a decade and I am a better man because of you. As you embark on the CrossFit Games next week, I want to return the favor and encourage you. You are "more than enough" in all aspects of your life and there is a sea of people who have been changed by the life you live. Once a year, we get to send a tidal wave of love your way and we hope it refreshes your spirit.

Have fun out on the floor, keep spending yourself for the sake of others and continue to run in such a way as to win the prize. 

You're my hero.

Your Pal Always,


PS: Remember that time in New Jersey when I booked your hotel on the wrong dates and you had to sleep in the airport while I slept snuggly in my bed with my ringer off? Yeah, I remember that too! :) Alaska '14

On the bank of Judd Lake.

Shuttle Run.

Caber Toss.

Bear Crawl.

The Tanks.