ChefSteps: Wall of Fire

Chefsteps roasts whole pigs in front of an enormous wall of fire.

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[MUSIC] This is place that's filled with amazingly talented chefs. Chefs. It has filmmakers, it has writers, it has musicians. We have software developers, we have visual designers. But one of the things that's true among everybody here is we're very passionate about cooking. We're very passionate about sharing our work with our community and inspiring them or helping them to be more successful. Chris and I have been cooking for a very long time and we are constantly trying to cook new things and develop new techniques or explore traditional techniques and apply them to different types of food. We are in the heart of Seattle's food district we're right in pike place market there are some of the best vendors in the city footsteps from our door It really gives us a sense of place, and that actually turns out to be important because we do have a very strong sense of style about who we are, and it's reflected in everything that we do. Our hope for anybody coming in is for them to immediately say this is kind of interesting, this is kind of crazy. So every time we have a piece of content, or we share something on the site, it's really, here's something you thought you understood, but actually it's something different's happening. And it's a little eye opening. Now here's something that you didn't know was taking place in front of you all this time. [BLANK_AUDIO] Chris and I have been building these huge contraptions for several years now to cook food. For us it's a way to entertain a lot of folks all at once. Give em a show. We wanna put ourselves in a situation where we're really being challenged and our thinking's being challenged. Otherwise we're not Learning. Our aspirations usually precede our abilities, and it's a fine tuning experience of trying to pull off something that's just inspirational enough to seem undoable. So, we have to build these elaborate things, and we get to problem solve when we get to tackle it head on, cuz that's really when Interesting for us. [SOUND] So the barrel's no big deal. It doesn't actually exactly matter where the fire is because essentially it's not the fire that's doing the cooking. As long as you have lots of glow, it radiates out- You could put it off to the side too. I mean, this year we're cooking a bunch of pigs in front of the this big steel wall. We're going to hang them up, a series of spindles, and turn them vertically rather than horizontally. And we're gonna build a giant wall of fire. Think of it as a really hot charcoal grill turned on its side, that's the size of a wall. No one has ever built a pig roaster quite like this one that I know of. [BLANK_AUDIO] I have a rule, if I design something that I cannot build, I have no business designing it. This one will be a little longer cuz there is a little bit of- Clamp it. My name is Tom Lud, I'm a mechanical engineer. We're going to be fabricating the pig roaster in my barn. And this piece right here, is this piece in the drawing. It's the main structural 2x3 beam. We do things differently here, and we do thrive on something that is, some people would call in possible. It's going to take 20 or 30 people are our team to really pull this off and we're gonna cook for probably a couple hundred people or so. I'm doing 15 of these batches hoping to yield somewhere on the order of 400 rolls. We're gonna be cooking lots of food from Chef Sepps we're going to go on a slight scale sometimes a 100, literally make hundreds of rolls. Hundreds of pounds of baked beans. Three pigs, get those butchered and cleaned up. I mean, we can't have the barbecue without that. Looks like a lot of good stuff. Do you want anything peeled back? Leaves cut, trimmed up, peeled or anything? No, no. We'll do that tomorrow. Just make sure it stays fresh as possible. We're gonna open them up. They call it spatchcocking when the pig's cut down the middle and totally opened up. They'll be these These kinda flat guys, you know, big pancake pigs, will cook a little more evenly and a little faster that way, and actually you get more surface area, so you get more crusties, more smoke. So I think the issue I'm having here is I'm looking at sort of this, and I'm looking at our wood, and so somewhere around sunrise I'm worried about like the last twigs are being thrown in And half my fence Yeah the fence will be the next to go. Inevitably certain things don't work out the way we expected them to despite our best intentions. And that's also part of what drives us to want to do these because it's those moments where you really have to figure out how do I salvage this? How do I Pull this together, how do I turn out something great that people are still going to want to eat that drives us to keep going and so it's an opportunity for us to push ourselves to our technical limits, it's an opportunity to have our friends and family around and do something that is very much in keeping with our general ethos which is embracing our community and having fun together around cooking. Backwards. [MUSIC] These same principles that were exploring in a truly massive and over the top scale can sort of be distilled down into very practical, teachable moments of how to get a better result of your home oven or how does your broiler really work or how does a bar-b-que really work. These are all examples of cooking with radiant heat which is what were going to do on a very large scale. [MUSIC] We're running out of firewood and fuel to consume and coals and charcoal. It's been pouring rain for the last several hours. It's super cold, it's been windy and now we're down to wet wood and running out of coals. We need more fuel. Any event like this is filled with teachable moments where things have completely not worked out the way you expected and they're kind of falling apart and you have to sort of muddle your way through this and figure out how to solve the problem. Chris inspires people by making them believe that just about anything is possible. And he doesn't hesitate to try it even if there is a high percentage of failure involved in it. We have hardly any more dry wood left, dry fuel left. So, Ben and I are going to call the guys at Monroe. We need to hit up all the safe ways or Lowes for charcoal coles. Otherwise we're going to have a bunch of cold, chewy pig. Char coals going to, there's no moisture in it so it's going to get going faster and it's going to burn Hotter for longer. It'll look like it's suffocating for a little bit but [UNKNOWN] burn out. It'll probably last another few hours, easy. It's gonna get stupidly hot once they all get going. Yeah. Kind of exactly what we need right now. When we have guests show up to these spectacles, we really do want to them to be in awe, but we also want them to ask a bunch of questions of like Why is this happening? Why are you doing it this way? And part of us putting on the event is explaining exactly that and answering some of those questions they have. [MUSIC] So when people come to chefsteps.com, hopefully the content that we provide Creates and generates some of that same wonder like, what the heck's going on here? And watching the videos and reading about it will actually answer some of those questions. [MUSIC] I think there's a lot of things that draw different people to Chef Steps. Certainly the beauty of the food, the aesthetics, the quality of the videos, how much we're willing to share our ideas. Try to answer questions. Ask people questions. That's deeply fundamental to who we are. Most of these things, you know it's working and it worked out like when it's totally done. [LAUGH] You can't really know until it's done. There's always little things that can happen. Like I don't know, you're taking the pigs off and we're hiking through this muddy field to go chop up the pigs and you slip and drop the pig. What happens when you do that? Do you serve it or do you like Like, everyone's like kinda, people are watching, just drop the pig in the mud [LAUGH] We're ready to serve pork, Ed's just finishing chopping up the second one. You can just one person We cook every day. We experiment. We fail a lot. We try to then take those failures and turn them into success, and we document that and share that with the world so that other people can learn from both our failures and our successes. Oh, look at that. My [INAUDIBLE] great. You work in the food world. I think you. You're just rigged up in such a way that you can handle unpredictable situations and sudden crises and extreme reversals of fortune with. [MUSIC] A whole lot more calmness than any other kind of, of human being. Chris and Grant are like Bonnie and Clyde. [LAUGH] You know, they're, they're very complementary. Like, incredible passion and just their need for excellence. When you're trying to invent the future, you don't actually know what it's gonna be like. You can't predict that. So you have to be willing to try a lot of things and Hope that occasionally you get it right. And most people aren't comfortable doing that. And that's what's great about ChefSteps is they're willing to do that with food. Ultimately what we want to happen is, people to be inspired to do something in the kitchen. Get in there, ask questions and physically cook something for somebody, whether it's themselves or friend or family. That's when all learning happens, it's due to mistakes and the unknown. We hope we can stimulate other people to take that leap. To strive to do something new and innovative in their own kitchen. Even if that's just making a better roast chicken. Or trying a new technique like sous vide cooking. Try something new, try something different and you'll learn so much without even knowing it, without even realizing it. [MUSIC]
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ChefSteps: Wall of Fire


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