Cook big. Play with fire. Get your hands dirty.
Chef Ben Ford is known for wowing crowds with his handcrafted feasts of enormous proportions--a whole pig roast, paella for eighty, burgers for the block. Now, in Taming the Feast, his complete guide to outdoor grilling, smoking, and roasting, Ford divulges his secrets for nine jaw-dropping feasts for the adventurous home cook and DIY enthusiast.
From mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue to Wood-Fired Paella, these entertaining blueprints can be used to throw a party for the whole neighborhood or an intimate dinner for four. A culinary MacGyver, Ford also provides unique complete do-it-yourself primers for making simple custom outdoor cookers that coax the ultimate flavor out of salmon, pig, rabbit, burgers, bratwurst, turkey, and lamb. Here are easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, drawings, and timelines for constructing a baking barrel, cinder-block oven, smoking shed, and roasting box in your own backyard.
Ford's food reflects his passion for artisanal techniques, innovative combinations of flavors, and seasonal ingredients. Delicious sides, including Avocado Crostini with Tomatoes, Capers, Olives, Almonds, and Arugula, Persimmon Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans, Cheddar Cheese Loaf with Artisanal Ham and Spicy Brown Mustard, complement hearty main dishes. Each feast ends on a playful note with delicious desserts like classic S'mores with homemade marshmallows and graham crackers and Coconut and Banana Cream "Pies." Each chapter also includes creative recipes to make use of the leftovers you're sure to have.
Taming the Feast is further enlivened by gorgeous photography and Ford's stories of growing up with his father Harrison Ford, then a carpenter, and his life as chef at some of California's most celebrated restaurants working under such pillars of California cuisine as Alice Waters, Paul Bertolli, David Tanis, Nancy Silverton, Mark Peel, and Eberhard Muller.
Whether you are hosting a pig roast, a fish fry, or a backyard barbecue family reunion, you can be sure everyone will leave your party entertained, well fed, and raving about the food.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-04-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Those with an appreciation for large get-togethers will have a field day with Ben Ford’s guide to toothsome feasts in this impressive and occasionally daunting collection of epic dinners centered around a main (often meaty) dish that range from the expected (a whole roasted pig that’ll feed 70–80) to the inspired, such as an epic Wood-Fired Paella served with an assortment of shellfish, chorizo, pork confit, and rabbit meatballs. Many of the chef’s meals (Ford is the owner and executive chef of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, Calif.), such as sturgeon grilled on a cedar plank, a fish fry, or grilled burgers and brats, start out simply enough, but are blown up to block-party proportions in this inspired presentation. His fish fry, for example, calls for a cast-iron cauldron capable of containing 10 gallons of oil, and a clambake requires a fire permit in addition to a 59-gallon oak barrel (instructions for building your own are provided). But once readers have sourced the required materials, they’re off to the races, as Ford’s practical step-by-step instructions and timelines are clear and to the point. Even if readers never attempt a meal at Ford’s level, they’ll likely find that a couple of his dishes, like his Cheddar Cheese Loaf with Artisanal Ham or simple Charred Leeks, deserve a turn. Agent: Janis Donnoud, Jans A. Donnaud & Assoc. (May)