Editor’s Letter

Food & Wine: Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin
© Andrew French

I am a proud member of the simple-griller club. I place my ingredients on a grate over hot coals, cook them, take them off the heat and eat them. This issue was made with grillers like me in mind: We turned to some of the biggest grilling experts around and asked them for their easiest recipes—no specialized equipment or fancy techniques necessary.

Francis Mallmann, for example, is a South American celebrity chef who gave up the world of haute-French cuisine to cook with fire and cast iron like a gaucho. We trekked to Mallmann’s country house outside the village of Garzón, Uruguay, to see his cooking methods up close and learn recipes like his rosemary-grilled shrimp.

Here in the States, we dropped by Portland, Oregon’s Pok Pok. From its beginning as a take-out stand in the driveway of chef Andy Ricker’s house, it has become one of the best Thai restaurants in America. Among its outstanding grilled dishes are incredible honey-glazed baby back ribs.

For our “20 Smart Tips for Everyday Grilling,” we got unexpected ideas from a collection of top experts. Chef Robert Del Grande makes sauces on a stick: He grills vegetables on a skewer, then purees them to create a smoky condiment for different types of meat. If you don’t want to mess with a grill at all, turn to our News & Notes section; we’ve found seven new, unusual smoked ingredients, including a terrific Spanish olive oil and robust peppercorns.

Once you’ve chosen some new ideas to try for grilling, I hope you’ll test out some new ideas for wine pairing. F&W’s Kristin Donnelly, one of our resident wine geeks, defies convention in recommending unfashionable oaked wines with grilled food. Prepare one of the recipes by F&W’s Marcia Kiesel (I’m partial to the grilled cheese with smoked-paprika pesto), open a bottle of oaked Sauvignon Blanc, and have them together—then let me know what you think.

Where I’m Coming From

My Recent NYC Expeditions:

Minetta Tavern
Had insanely satisfying frites and a petite tender steak at this restaurant from consummate bistro-istes Keith McNally, Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson.

Fatty Crab Uptown
A much bigger offshoot of the West Village original, it’s an oasis of Asian excellence on the Upper West Side. I loved Zak Pelaccio’s Malaysian wonton mee: shrimp and pork wontons served with fried noodles.

Bar Breton
Cyril Renaud’s homey galetterie, specializing in buckwheat crêpes, is delicious and affordable. I want to go back for the galette with poached egg, black trumpet mushrooms, spinach and Parmesan cheese.

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