Mallmann grills the Argentine way

Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:01am EDT
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By Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - If you're going to grill the Argentine way, it helps to have a hunger for meat, a big wood fire, and plenty of open space.

Patagonia will do.

Argentine chef Francis Mallmann, who runs three highly-regarded restaurants in Argentina and Uruguay, was raised in the Patagonia region and credits its culture and style for inspiring his cooking.

His television show airs across Latin America, and he may launch a program for U.S. audiences to help fight a trend toward overly complicated recipes.

Mallmann, who spoke with Reuters this month, aims to inspire American cooks with the simple, unpretentious food in his new cookbook, "Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way."

Q: Yours may be the only cookbook to include a recipe for grilling an entire cow. Who is your audience?

A: "The idea was to adapt all the Argentine ways of cooking into a home, where you can do these things in the backyard or a kitchen even if you don't want to light a fire. You can still achieve good things on a stove, the burned orange with rosemary, burned tomato with oregano, the smashed beet with the goat cheese and garlic chips. You can't do the cow inside."

Q: What defines Argentine cooking?   Continued...