South American Super Chef Francis Mallman Cooks at Central Market

Chef Francis Mallmann at Central Market in Dallas.
Chef Francis Mallmann at Central Market in Dallas.

Last night our editorial intern, Kellyn Curtis, headed over to Central Market for a tough assignment–a cooking class led by, “The Thomas Keller of South America,” Francis Mallman. His recent cookbook, Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way is gorgeous. Here’s what went on at CM on Lovers last night:

Dallas cooking enthusiasts got a little taste of Argentina Monday night at Central Market’s cooking school. Chef Francis Mallman, one of South America’s biggest culinary stars, prepared three dishes the Argentine way and paired them with some great wines.

Chef Mallman became Argentina’s best-known chef by preparing haute-French cuisine. But he soon got bored and decided to go back to the basics by cooking with wood fire and cast iron – the way the gauchos used to do it. The change paid off. He owns three South American restaurants and has written several cookbooks.

The class entitled Seven Fires/Three Winds started off with a salad. Sounds simple enough, but according to the chef even the simplest things can be difficult to do well. But he made the burnt carrots with goat cheese, parsley, arugula, and crispy garlic chips salad look easy. He paired it with a Trivento Torrontes Select, a crisp wine with flavors of tropical fruit and citrus.

cm3The next item on the menu was a whole boneless rib eye with chimichurri served with a Patagonian potato galette. Chef Mallman pointed out that chimichurri is the most Argentinean sauce for meat. Chefs have tried to make variations of the original, but Mallman says there is only one true chimichurri. He waited until the last minute to coat the rib eye with the sauce so that the two different flavors would remain separate. For this course, he chose a red wine – Trivento Malbec Select.

He finished off the night with burnt oranges and rosemary paired with a Trivento Pinot Noir. This is one of his simplest recipes but the flavors and texture were intense and complex. Warning: don’t attempt this dish indoors – it will engulf the kitchen in smoke.