Summer is officially here, its time to pay homage to color and crunch…we wish you many mouth watering months before the chill sneaks back into the air.
Fire Roasted Catering has been having a wonderful spring in the Berkshires (and surounds) with plenty of gorgeous weather for grilling. We’ve so enjoyed meeting new clients who have been enthusiastically embracing the foraged foods that make spring parties so special. Grilled ramps and morels are the prizes that May delivers so graciously, with simple preparations that highlight their unique and delicious flavor profiles.
A highlight in May was the amazing event hosted by ASAP (The After School Arts Program) in Washington Depot Connecticut. ASAP is a Connecticut-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing artistic and cultural opportunities for children and adults. The annual fund raiser includes a silent and live auction and is followed by a wonderful series of readings of children’s work read by notable actors and others in the entertainment and literary world. Fire Roasted Catering was honored to be chosen as a ‘live auction’ item, helping to achieve the financial goals of this important organization.
Francis Mallmann at work
I was recently introduced to a chef who cooks and is inspired by the same principals that Fire Roasted Catering is based upon. Patagonian born Francis Mallmann is a chef, restauranteur, and super suave guy. After already having a prestigious career which included years of training in some of the finest French kitchens, and heading some of the most famous South American restaurants, Mallmann had an epiphany, to quote his friend Peter Kaminsky:
he was tired of being a French chef in a South American country. He began to move away from nouvelle cuisine and, as he said, “its decorative sauces that were perfected by a very few and poorly copied by thousands of chefs, including myself. I got very bored of all this three-star thing. It was my church for so many years. All those towers and decorations and too many things on a plate pushed me to go brutal and beastly in my cooking.”
His story continues with many brave and exciting moves which pushed him to develop the techniques he is now best know for. He currently has a gorgeous cookbook called Seven Fires which beautifully illustrates the foods and the feeling of cooking over wood fire.
My career trajectory as a chef, thought less illustrious, is not dissimilar. My interest in food is rooted in the traditions I was taught by my grandmother, whose tutelage inspired me to go to culinary school. In that environment I learned the classical techniques that intensify, deepen, and develop the flavors and textures of the ingredients that I use. Though I did work as a chef for five years (not including the dozen of years in kitchens before culinary school) I found the lure of entrepreneurism irresistible. To satisfy my need for independence I started a fresh pasta company which produced excellent hand made pastas using the freshest most local ingredients possible.
After selling that company I created Jeremy Stanton Catering, and returned to the rules of my grandmother: use the highest quality ingredients and the simplest preparations so that the inherent flavors of the food can speak for themselves. The next stage of my evolution came from an invitation to roast a whole veal calf for a Slow Food event, which I had never done before. Never mind, I thought, I know how to cook, I’ll spit roast it over a hardwood fire. The result was a mouth watering success. Fire Roasted Catering was born. Cooking with fire gives me the greatest flexibility, by using my custom built iron grill, and grill pans I have the ability to move the food quickly and easily. The taste of fire speaks to all of our carnal memories, standing around the fire as our food cooks is a communal experience, this taps into our base level of our humanity. It is fundamental.
Sometimes clients contact us wanting to extend their holiday celebrations with a roast. This past weekend Fire Roasted Catering participated in a ‘block party’ which was in a rural area in Southern Berkshire County. There is always a potential challenge to fire roasting, and this time of year tends to push that challenge beyond the normal hurdles. The night before the event was very cold, raining/sleeting, with extreme wind, fortunately by the time we needed to start the fire the rain had stopped, but the wind was not so kind. Despite the elements, the food was beautiful and delicious, to quote our client…
“I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t realize it was going to be transcendentally good”
We are available for all your holiday catering needs, rain or shine! Happy Holidays!