On-Trend: Cooking Over an Open Fire

One Vail, Colorado, restaurant is taking it to the extreme

While it might sound a bit silly to say that something humans have been doing for thousands of years — cooking over an open fire — is "trendy," it’s indeed something that more and more restaurants (in addition to campers) have been experimenting with in recent years, and it’s something we’re beginning to see a lot more of in the culinary world.

For example, one recently opened restaurant in Vail, Colo., Mountain Standard, is utilizing the open fire for at least one component in nearly every dish on the menu. Each menu only has a few components, in line with chef Paul Anders’ simple, rustic strategy.

"Almost every menu item tries to feature an element prepared over the grill or from the rotisserie," Anders told The Daily Meal. "The protein component of every entrée on the menu is prepared over wood fire."

Even elements of the appetizers, like root vegetables in a salad, bone marrow, onions for onion soup, and lemons for shellfish, have gotten a turn on the open flame.

"There are in fact only like five items out of 35 that do not have some element of wood fire represented on the dish," said Anders. "If we could figure out how to do french fries on a grill, we would!"

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