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Editor's Letter

Americans like things quick and easy—everything from workouts to recipes. But in putting together our annual grilling issue, we realized Americans aren't the only ones who want food to be fast and simple. When we looked for new grilling ideas everywhere from Australia to Russia, we found cooks living by that same mantra. Pete Evans, a Sydney chef known for his laid-back surfer style, believes in what we call can't-mess-it-up grilling. I actually find it really easy to mess up seafood, so I'm going to put Pete's recipes to the test and try his whole grilled fish with crispy garlic and his grilled paella.

In Russia, Moscow restaurateur Katya Drozdova hosts a grilling party in the lush yard of a friend's country cottage. With fast-cooking kebabs called shashlik lined up over the coals like rows of Foosball players and big salads like one made with Boston lettuce, walnuts, cilantro, scallions and radishes, the fantastic food feels both foreign and familiar.

There's one quintessential American style of cooking with fire that is anything but quick and easy: Southern barbecue. In this issue, writer Joel Stein visits Houston to learn the ins and outs of the craft, compete in a cook-off and share a real-deal brisket recipe. For "Cheater's Barbecue," F&W's Grace Parisi provides the alternative: sped-up recipes inspired by legendary pit master Chris Lilly.

Barbecue and beer are a natural match. F&W's Megan Krigbaum tasted hundreds of beers and spirits for this issue, a project that took months. You'll also notice that throughout the issue, we're providing beer pairings along with the usual wine pairings. We don't mean to be precious—is it really possible for there to be only one perfect beer for any one dish?—but the recommendations are intended to serve as a reminder about the amazing hop options out there. We hope these recipes and pairing suggestions make grilling the way we so often want it to be—quick and easy!

Where I'm Coming From: My Recent Expeditions

Seasons at the Ocean House

Watch Hill, RI

Elegant, confident and bold dishes—layered foie gras terrine with banana-walnut bread and rhubarb gelée, hot-and-sour consommé with carrot "flowers"—are both pretty delicious and very pretty.

Torrisi Italian Specialties

New York City

Dinner at Torrisi is amazing, with the world's best warm mozzarella and gigantic, juicy whole short rib.

Ubuntu

Napa, CA

Surely the tastiest salad I've ever eaten: a twisty garden "snake" made of lettuces, roots, herbs and flowers picked just hours earlier.

Twitter: Follow me @fwscout

Facebook: Become a fan at facebook.com/foodandwine

Published June 2011
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