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Sunday Asado

Francis Mallmann

Lesson time 30 min

“Asado on Sundays is more like a ceremony than a meal. Asado is a religion in our country.” – @Francismallmann.  It’s Sunday on the island and Francis and his team are preparing for a barbecue feast: Chorizos, steaks, ribs, sweetbreads, salads, and free-flowing red Argentine wine abound the table.  In this short documentary, Francis takes you into his Patagonian world to see the true meaning of this sacred ritual that defines Argentine culture. Francis shows you how to grill, make all the barbecue sides and sauces, and most of course, the importance of being in good company.

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– For asados and Sundays, it’s more a ceremony than a meal. It happens everywhere. And somewhere that’s so simple because it’s people that, you know, maybe they will sell a… let’s say a lamb or a… you know, a goat, and they sell the animal but they keep all the insides, and they would make an asado with that. The beautiful thing about asados, and Sundays or Saturdays, is that people talk a lot. We stay a lot at the table, you know, for hours and hours. And I find that’s one of the most beautiful gestures of our culture… …is the time we spend at the table, talking with friends, lovers, children, family. Asado is a religion in our country. – Salut! – [All] Salut! – Salut, salut! Saluto! – Sunday Asado means family. – [Man] Oh my god! Argentina is a very big country. If you have to find something that happens from Antarctica to La Quiaca, it’s Sunday Asado. – Asado in Argentina, like pasta in Italy. It’s a ritual. It’s a way of giving love for family, for friends. We take care of the other. If you come to my house and I invite you to an asado, I have to be sure that you’re going to be happy, to eat delicious, and to be in our full glory. – The piece is called . But cooking is love. It’s heard too often I think, but cooking is love. There’s no way you can cook without love. Before you start cooking, you believe in something. You believe in what you’re going to do and what it’s gonna look like and how it’s gonna taste. And then you work for that. And you know, you’re cooking for someone, for your children, for your friends, for your family. And I think that’s very beautiful. That’s love. It’s like many rivers meeting in one place. And the rivers are the immigrants of Italy, of France, of Spain. The things that came to Argentina from the Moors, to Spain and then to us, and then all the native cooking of all the country. There are traces of native cooking in Patagonia that are 11,000 years old. It’s all with fires. – Okay. I’m going to fire. – All that thing merged and a place sort of gets together. And it mixes up in what Argentine cooking is, which is a mix of many things. – Cooked nicely. – Like he’s a master. He does it so simple. And he puts like this pink robe. And with this , and he drinks his wine. He enjoys the simple things and that’s something we all can do, enjoy the simple things. He does it on the peak of a mountain, on his own island. – [Francis] Perfecto. – I think Francis has a very deep connection with life. And he’s very good at expressing and joining life and activities. And that mixture isn’t so easy to find. I think he joins his life and his working experience in one, and expresses it in a way that rarely people can do. And I think that that’s the great charm of Francis. – The colors of life. My mother loved flowers. And since we were kids, she was always doing flowers in our house. They bring joy. They bring hope, flowers, always. And I think it reminds us as well of the beauty of living and dying. They die very elegantly. I would like to die like that too. It will come one day. Yeah. I think that life prepares us to die. You don’t feel it until you grow older. You understand it more and you… you sort of can embrace it in a way. – He had a strong vocation towards cooking, from my mother and my grandmother. My mother was a very good cook and she really enjoyed preparing meals for friends. And when we received friends of them in home my mother would work all day, preparing the flowers, cooking, and everything was set in a very beautiful way. Francis inherited that. He inherited the taste for good food and for seeing how she would put a lot of energy and love in preparing those wonderful meals. Enjoy every second of life. I think that that’s a great lesson that Francis teaches, to enjoy everything and to try to have open view of life, and being able to celebrate. That’s, I think, what Francis transmits – Crust. He knows his crust. The crust that he gets with fire, that’s where… if you wanna cook, like let’s take all the philosophy and the deep learning from life that you may get from him. If you’re a cook and you wanna learn something from him? Crust. The crust that he gets with the and the fire and the cast iron. He’s very specific with tools. He doesn’t use tongs at all. He uses like painter tools. If you learn to make a crust in a potato, like he does, you’re gonna keep thanking him a lot. Observe. There are gonna be little bubbles coming out. The thick of the bubbles coming out. It’s different. But you only get to learn from that by observation. And if you put something on the grill and leave, it’s not the same that you sit there. And you learn, and those little smells or sounds, that’s only when you’re paying attention. In the most simple little details of what’s going on, that’s where you learn a lot. And if something as big and as basic, and as primal as fire, connecting with food, you learn a lot. – Meats in general, all the meats that we cook, even the chickens, have fat, lard. And that drips into the fire and makes flames. And we always want to stop that because it will burn the meat or the sweet breads or the chorizos. If you look there, we have some flames in here too. So I just put a bit of, you know, salt on it, to get it off. As down here too, you see, these are dripping now. This was a bit too much of salt. – [Francis] Getting ready for lunch! I hope you’re hungry. – It’s not formal. Eh, you can have an asado. Maybe stand up with your friends and with a cutting board, and maybe come to my house. I’m going to just make one piece in the and we eat with the fork. No table, no dining… it’s okay. So you can make asado whenever you want. I feel that Francis is our ambassador, our chef ambassador, because he knew our kitchen from the heart and he translates to plate and recreates atmosphere in all the events he does around the world, as a chef representing Argentina. – Sunday asado means some kind of competition between family members, about who does it better. – I’m going to give you love in different moments. It’s to join people together and to have like long moments because the asado takes long hours to cook. – Hola! – Francis changed the course of Argentinian food. – You have to give and to receive. He’s receiving. – I think that the kitchen must be a place of joy. There should always be a little bit of music, maybe in the back, some flowers, a beautiful sight and pace. – Salut! Salut! Salut! Saluto. – It’s important. It’s good for our hearts.

About the Instructor

Francis Mallmann, the pioneer of open-fire cooking, is South America’s most famous chef and is known for his rustic open-fire cooking style in wild and remote locations. Join the James Beard award-winning author and Chef’s Table star as he brings you on a journey into his kitchen in the Patagonian wild where he teaches you how to master the grill and his Argentine-style barbecue.

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