F&W Free Preview All You Coastal Living Cooking Light Food and Wine tab Health myRecipes Southern Living Sunset
My F&W
quick save (...)
Expert Lessons

How to Use a Wall of Fire to Feed a Party

ChefSteps

Photo courtesy of Chefsteps

ChefSteps, a Seattle-based cooks’ collective, celebrates the art of culinary showmanship with geeky glee. Founded by three of the key thinkers responsible for the Modernist Cuisine cookbooks—chefs Chris Young and Grant Lee Crilly and photographer Ryan Matthew Smith—the group solves ambitious cooking problems they invent for themselves. Like, what’s a cool way to feed dozens of people for a solstice party? The photo at left reveals the answer: Build a wall of shelves, load it with applewood, set it ablaze, and use that infernal 1,500-degree heat to cook a hunk of pork shoulder, a 45-pound king salmon, five whole chickens and perhaps the world’s largest pastrami—the 120-pound forequarter of a cow that the ChefSteps whizzes had already soaked in 40 gallons of brine and cooked sous vide in a plastic bag at exactly 162 degrees.

ChefSteps’ execution isn’t always perfect—the group once started an inadvertent fire while trying to cook eight 50-pound rib roasts using a homemade crane—but no matter the outcome, the performances always relate to the core of its mission: teaching home cooks to cook smarter. To that end, it produces polished online video courses on all sorts of topics, including practical how-to’s (identifying fresh fish at the market), classic recipes (quiche Lorraine) and advanced techniques (making strawberry juice in a centrifuge).

This dual expertise in throwing memorable culinary events and creatively explaining complex tasks makes ChefSteps a great candidate for a challenge: F&W asked the group to stage an authentic clambake on the shores of Puget Sound, and then hack it for a kitchen. Clambakes don’t translate well to the oven—take away the beach, the sandpit, the layers of seaweed and the smoky hardwood fire, and all you’ve got left is some steamed seafood. So to capture the authentic flavors of the real deal, ChefSteps created a recipe using a cast-iron casserole, Japanese kombu, charred wood chips and a hefty rock. See how they did it here.

ChefSteps shares a growing collection of cooking courses and recipes on the group’s website, chefsteps.com.

Recipes:
Ultimate Oven Clambake

Related:
Summer Recipes
Clambake Party
Fish and Seafood Recipes

You Might Also Like powered by sheknows

Comments

Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    advertisement
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    advertisement
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.