Filming a Grillworks feature for Esquire with Greg Denton at OX, Portland—and capturing our fair share of outtakes.
Ben Eisendrath designs and manufactures wood-fired grills for purists of the culinary community. His company, Grillworks, specializes in an Argentine approach to cooking, and in creating the most flexible, beautiful tools possible for the live fire master. Deemed “next-level machines” by the Wall Street Journal and “The Cult Favorite” among chefs by Bon Appétit, his pieces also won Esquire’s “Best Engine of Gastronomy” Good Food award and are favored by serious home grillers and a who’s who of professional chefs all over the world.
His father made the family’s first grills as a hobby. Ben’s taken that torch and lit some serious fires. See the Grillworks backstory in Popular Mechanics.
Ready to up your grill game this season? Ben has chosen key articles surrounding some of his favorite chefs and their contributions to the grilling world.
Guys With Grilling Game
Profile: The Chef Who Ate His Way to Health
Seamus Mullen was an early partner of ours. At the time we met he’d just ended a hiatus from cooking brought on by Rheumatoid Arthritis, flattening him during filming of Iron Chef. He stepped back, rethought his lifestyle, tinkered with his diet until he found what made him feel good again, then staged a comeback that’s still going strong. His book, Hero Foods, is a must-read for those interested in food and wellness, or those who suffer from chronic disease.
A Meal to Remember
Francis Mallmann is the standard-bearer for South American open fire cooking. I say cooking instead of grilling because Mallmann elevates the performance far past the realm of a back yard session or a trip to a grill restaurant to a place much closer to fire poetry. He prefers to cook with as little between the flames and the food as possible, and to utilize whatever the setting has to offer—be it farm iron planchas or wheelbarrow fire pits. His books are love stories about his cooking experiences, and must-haves for any grill, outdoor, or travel fan.
The Ideas Issue: Cook with the Whole Farm
Dan Barber: TIME 100 member, White House advisor, James Beard award-winner, and force of nature in sustainable high cuisine. We worked closely with him in designing our first Infierno grill for his restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Dan recently unveiled his vision for the future of dining in his new book, The Third Plate. His writing, talks, and food shake the world, but most impressive to me is how pragmatic and honest he is. Achieving a high level in the art of fine dining is not always perfectly “sustainable”, but we MUST try to make changes where we can. This article is just a—forgive me—taste of Barber’s philosophy, complete with a grilled parsnip steak.
Rising Stars of the Grill
Lucky for us, there’s a whole new generation of grill stars coming up, and they’re showing great live-fire techniques at their restaurants. The places in this article all feature open kitchens where you can see everything the chef does on the fire, making for the perfect dinner and a show. Best of all, you can learn some things that apply equally to your grill dinners at home.
The Grillworks Backstory
A Beautiful Thing
Finally, a story about how a father’s hobby was reborn as a son’s driving passion—mine.