Passport Argentina at Central Market in Dallas: Francis Mallmann, A Photo Essay

Francis Mallmann

Last night’s “Grilling the Argentine Way, an evening with Francis Mallmann” event at Central Market was truly unique. Mallmann is an expert at cooking with fire: over it, under it, in it, and around it. His cookbook, Seven Fires, Grilling the Argentine Way, is a gorgeous celebration of Mallmann’s devotion to his “classical rebellion” style of cooking. He’s a bit of a revolutionary: he likes to smash meat and burn tomatoes. He doesn’t like wine pairings. “If I want a red wine, I will drink it with anything,” he says. “I don’t like too many rules.” Last night he shared his passion of cooking outside with an enthusiastic crowd that included some big names in the local and national foodie world.

Most interesting was the unadvertised appearance of Michael Pollan, the award winning author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and other books that examine the food industry from enlightened angles. Pollan is writing a new book and was in Dallas doing a little research. He is focusing on man’s discovery of fire and how cooking with fire has aided human evolution. He showed up to observe Mallmann in action. It was fascinating to watch the two walk around the fire pits assembled outside the store as Mallmann talked about the optimum state of cooking on flames, coals, embers, ashes, and cinders.

Jump for my photos of the feast!

Michael Pollan, Aimee Deputy (Central Market), Bill Reed (owner of Estancia Beef)
Lamb and fire.
Sweetbreads, lamb, and fire.
Stephen Butt, senior VP of Central Market.
Mallmann unveils his whole salmon baked in a salt crust.
Lots of fabulous wine poured last night.
The star of the evening: fire.
Dying embers.
Morcilla (blood sausage).
Chef Julia Lopez and Taco Borga from La Duni. Borgia has used Mallmann's recipes for years.
The tango.
Mark and Nancy Gale.
Natalia Machado, executive chef, Industria Argentina in New York.
Paula Lambert, Tom and Effie McCullough.
Paula Lambert and Michael Pollan.
Stephen Butt and Francis Mallmann share dessert and wine.