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Crave Festival - Francis Mallmann

On Sunday morning I had to make an exception from my German cooking and went to the World Chef Showcase as part of the Crave Food Festival here in Sydney. Neil Perry (Australia) was there to show us how to cook the perfect steak. Diana Kennedy from Mexico to tell us all about the Mexican way of cooking and Francis Mallmann, who is a culinary superstar in Argentina, showed us the Argentinian way of grilling. It was marvelous and so interesting. There are seven different styles of how Argentinians like to grill and and we all got a pretty good picture and delicious samples of those grilling techniques. I can still smell the smoke emanating from my skin while I am writing this.

In his cookbook seven fires he explains the seven ways of fire, there is the parilla (BBQ), chapa (cast-iron griddle), infiernillo (little hell - sounds almost cosy ;-), horno de barro (clay oven), rescoldo (embers and ashes), asador (the iron cross - that's how they do it at Porteno) and caldero (cauldron).
It reminded me a little of Smilla's Sense of Snow, yet the opposite a sense of fire, it means he really knows fire inside out.
In Australia it is more likely to have a gas BBQ with low, medium and high heat. That's about as technical as it gets. It still taste nice but since barbecuing in Germany also means to grill over coals
I quite enjoy the revival of the fire.

Francis Mallmann cooked/grilled a whole butternut pumpkin in hot ashes. He halved it, scraped out the seeds and fibre and used this for a salad (the pumpkin itself was used as a bowl) with goat's cheese, rocket and mint. It was delicious!
On the BBQ he grilled a whole boneless rib eye and served it with chimichurri sauce, so simple yet yummy. However, I especially loved his potato dominoes, which I never had before and they were soft inside but golden brown and crunchy outside. I definitely will try that when my German food month is over.
For dessert he stuffed orange slices with rosemary leaves and caramelized them on a very hot griddle until smoke was everywhere. The oranges were served with mint and yoghurt.

The showroom with two cooking benches and the wood-fired grill in the middle.

The rib gets slapped on.

Smoking away.

Turning point!


Grilling Gaucho-style.

Francis Mallmann on stage.

Grilled pumpkin salad a la Mallmann.

Flying dishes.

Caramelized oranges with rosemary, mint and yoghurt.

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