On a perfect fall afternoon, Stephen and his wife Celeste, who is a chef, gathered 28 friends together for a magical day years in the making. The first time they saw Francis Mallmann on season one of Netfilx’s Chef’s Table, they began talking about having an asado, or South American-style barbecue, of their own. “This is something Celeste has wanted to do for years,” said Stephen, “and I’m so happy we were finally able to make it happen.”
Planning started two months in advance. Celeste researched Mallmann’s dishes, crafting a menu that would be cooked over hot coals and fire. Stephen had a research project of his own, determining how to build a structure of grates and hanging areas that would allow Celeste to do a variety of proteins and vegetables at different temperatures.
Structure was built with 1/2 in. black steel pipe connected by unions.
Veggies & fish grilled on the top grate.
Basting brine cooks on the fire.
Lowest level grills at the hottest temp.
After the structure was built at their lake house and the menu determined, invites went out to friends and family. “This is truly a celebration of our ability to gather again,” said Celeste. “We loved the idea of having everyone together, nothing too fancy, just good food, good wine and good people.”
Early in the morning, as the fog rolled in over the lake, and strong coffee was being poured, Stephen started the fire. As the fog burned off, the fire roared and around 9 am the first food was put on. Chickens hung from metal hooks and were basted by a homegrown herb brush and brine. Acorn squash were rolled into the coals, potatoes crackled on a grill grate and whole cabbages hung like the chickens.
Ten Chickens were hung by wire from the top level.
30 pounds of tomahawk prime rib cooked for 7 hours.
The wires allowed Celeste to raise and lower the meat depending on the heat of the fire.