'cookouts' on Serious Eats

Has Anyone Cooked with this Weird Contraption?

I'm a big fan of Brendan Koerner's "The Goods" column in the New York Times Sunday business section. Yesterday he wrote about a newfangled outdoor cooker, the Orion. Here's how he described it: "a cylindrical, stainless steel gadget that resembles something out of the Apollo space program. Powered by charcoal, the Orion envelops meats in waves of hot air, also known as convection currents." According to its inventor, Christian Fitzgerald, "This not only eliminates the need for turning but also preserves juiciness and reduces cooking times. He estimates, for example, that the Orion can cook a 20-pound turkey in two and a half hours, and six racks of baby back ribs in 75 minutes." Here's my question: Does the Orion... More

Being Mario Batali's Sous-Chef Was No Picnic

How could I resist this invitation (right), which gave no hint of what was to come yesterday around lunchtime? Mario Batali serving roast pig, which, from a previous appearance at his house in northern Michigan, I knew I would enjoy immensely. Dave Pasternack from New York City's Esca roasting and grilling octopus, which I knew from co-writing his about-to-come-out cookbook, was just about the most delicious tentacled morsel of food you could eat. And the hospitality of Batali partner Joe Bastianich, who apparently lives large on a few acres of prime real estate in suburban Connecticut. The first mistake I made was emailing Mario to see if he was really leaving Del Posto at 10 in the morning to... More

Being Mario Batali's Sous-Chef Was No Picnic

There were four huge bags of Sullivan Street Bakery ciabatta rolls. They were supposed to have been split at the restaurant before they began their journey to Joe Bastianich's cookout. They were not, and someone had to split those thousand rolls before the guests arrived in an hour. "Dude," Mario said, "you ready to split the rolls?" I believe this was the definition of a rhetorical question. More

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