If you've been following along with Food 52's Tournament of Cookbooks (aka "The Piglet"), you'll be pleased to know that the grand champion has been chosen. Final-round judge Nora Ephron calls it for Francis Mallman and Peter Kaminsky's Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way. Sure the book has some problems:
Many of the fires in Seven Fires can be set in the wilds of Argentina or, presumably, on a finca, but they cannot be set on driveways, patios or the back lawn. So where is one to set them? I have no idea. And many of the recipes that are meant to be cooked over fire don't contain alternative cooking suggestions. There's a wildly exciting lamb recipe that's cooked in a wheelbarrow. In a wheelbarrow.
But Ephron loves it anyway:
... Seven Fires has got all sorts of things wrong with it, but it sings. It's full of wonderful recipes and wonderful ideas. And perhaps, in the next printing, the authors will tell us what to do about the wheelbarrow.
Get to Know 'Seven Fires'
We featured Seven Fires as the Cook the Book series for the week of June 15, 2009. Here are the recipes we excerpted: