We know it's still a little cold to start bringing you books about outdoor cooking, but let's be honest, for almost a year locked up at home, we're all in need of excuses to get some fresh air. Today, we'll bring you the review of Finding Fire, the newest cookbook from Lennox Hastie.
Finding Fire tells the story of how the UK-trained chef Lennox Hastie learned the language of fire and the art of harnessing it. The book celebrates the instinctive, focused cooking of ingredients at their simple best using one of the oldest, most fundamental cooking tools.
Since man learned to harness fire for practical purposes, it's been part of our lives ever since. We have been using it as a beacon for our rituals, as energy to keep us warm, and as a cooking tool. Is this millennial and deep connection that humans have with fire that Lennox explores in his new cookbook.
Finding Fire is far from being a traditional barbecue cookbook. Throughout its pages, you'll get to know Lennox's journey from Michelin-star restaurants in the UK, France and Spain to Victor Arguinzoniz's Asador Etxebarri in the Basque mountains and, ultimately, to Australia to open his own restaurant, Firedoor. Despite being a very personal cookbook, Lennox saves a big part of this book to explain the techniques behind creating a quality fire, how the fire life cycle works, and most importantly, to teach you how to use your instinct to read fire.
Everything we mentioned above is divided into eleven small easy to read chapters - it's only 80 pages, so don't panic. For everyone who loves to cook with fire, or want to learn more about it, we definitely encourage you to read all these chapters. By reading this, not only you'll get to know the story of an amazing chef, but you'll also learn important things that will help you to recreate some of the recipes in this book. In addition, you will also get to know the story behind some of the recipes in the book.
After all the "introductory" chapters of this book, comes in our opinion, the best and most exciting part - the recipes. Divided by food type: seafood, vegetables, meat (including Lennox's acclaimed steak), fruit, dairy, wheat and bases, this section will have a lot to explore. Is this diversity and also the type of recipes present in this book, that make it so different from the other barbecue/outdoor cooking books on the market.
In Finding Fire, don't expect traditional recipes, like smoked brisket, burgers, or hot dogs. Forget all this, because in this book you'll have access to some of the recipes, 80 to be precise, that Lennox serves at Firedoor. For some people, these recipes may seem a bit daunting, or even impossible to make, but if you really enjoy cooking with fire, it is impossible not to like them. Even for us, some of the recipes in this book will be impossible to reproduce, just by the simple fact that we don't have access to some of the ingredients used. But for us, this is not a problem, because after reading the first chapters of the book, we realize that the objective of this book is to teach you how to use fire to get the best of the ingredient you have available.
The recipes in the book are very well written, with lots of detail, letting you know exactly what you need to do and what materials do you need to use. Besides that, each recipe comes with and an introduction to let you know more about the ingredients you are about to cook. As if all this weren't enough, Lennox also added in each recipe, the type of wood you should use as well as the intensity of the fire you should prepare.
Finding Fire is an incredible book about the transformative power that fire has on food. This is a book that tells the story of how Lennox learned the language of fire and how you can do the same.
We were going to end this review by saying that this book is only for those who are already very used to cooking with fire, but we can't do that. We need to consider this book for everyone who loves to cook with live fire or want to learn how to master this technique. We know that less experienced cooks will fail a few times before getting the recipes right, but we can guarantee you they will have a great time while doing it. And to be honest, for us, it is the added difficulty of cooking with live fire and its unpredictability that makes it interesting.
Finding Fire is a book for those who want to learn the language of fire and the art of harnessing it. This is a book that will put your skills to the test, at the same time that tries to make cooking with fire an interesting and fun experience.