Francis Mallmann

BY Lisa Lindblad

November 29, 2009



South America’s most renowned chef, Francis Mallmann, has three phenomenal restaurants, two of which are in Argentina and one in Uruguay. Patagonia Sur, at left, is located in the funky neighborhood of La Boca in Buenos Aires. With five tables and a menu that changes daily, it is one of the most atmospheric – and romantic – spots to be found on any continent…just the kind of place we all wish were in our own neighborhoods. His second restaurant, 1884, is located in the city of Mendoza and, though much larger, also offers Mallmann’s unique aesthetic and superb food. Hotel & Restaurant Garzon lives in the general store Mallmann transformed in Pueblo Garzon, Uruguay. One block from my own house, it is my neighborhood haunt for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No one could be more fortunate, and better fed, than I!
Three months ago Francis published his latest cookbook, Seven Fires.  Within 24 hours it had become Amazon’s #1 selling cookbook and since has sold some extraordinary number of copies.  Well worth purchasing, it is as much fun to read as a travel book (highlighting Mallmann’s beloved Patagonian landscapes) as it is to cook from.  The recipes all reflect his passion for barbecuing – the 7 fires are the 7 different ways of cooking with fire – and, while the outcome will probably never have the same magic taste as his own, if cooked with Francis’ love and respect for the ingredients, the result should be delicious.
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John Derian Goes West