by Francis Mallmann
There are lots of fires in the new cookbook from Francis Mallmann. A travelogue of sorts, the book documents the Argentinean chef as he travels from Patagonia to Paris, Brooklyn to Brazil, and more always with his trusty portable parilla (grill) and always cooking the most delicious looking food. Though there are plenty of photos of Mallmann himself in the book (there he is in front of the Eiffel Tower!), the stunning evocative images of his food make you want to strike a match, now. I love this book not so much for his exciting live-fire cooked meats, however, but for his simple-yet-ingenious takes on vegetables, such as Grilled Carrots with Aged Ricotta and Oregano on Toast, and other less commonly grilled foods like Grilled Bartlett Pears Wrapped in Iberico. And though Mallmann himself might not agree, not all of the recipes actually require a live fire as plenty are “a la plancha” meaning cooked on a hot griddle. Will they turn out as delicious if made on the stove? Likely not, but they’ll still be damn good.