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The Art of the Flame


Every February, the nation’s top chefs descend on Miami for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, a culinary bonanza of more than 90 events celebrating all things epicurean.

In addition to participating at the festival’s cornerstone Best of the Best event, foodies can head to Faena’s Los Fuegos restaurant, where incomparable grillmaster and “Chef’s Table” star, Francis Mallmann, will be firing up his flame-cooked specialties. A bounty of fire-roasted fare will be served using traditional Patagonian cooking techniques from his signature iron dome, where ingredients like whole cabbage, cauliflower, bonein ribeye, and pineapples are hung over a live-fire and slow-cooked for hours. 

Out of a wood oven comes cheese empanadas stuffed with gouda, port salut, mozzarella, oregano, and caramelized onion; prime beef empanadas and artichokes smothered in sesame yogurt and sourdough breadcrumbs; and an entrée of whole Branzino flavored with a gremolata sauce. Mallmann also uses a “rescoldo” method to cook a bevy of vegetables by submerging them in glowing embers. The result? Mouthwatering dishes like beets carpaccio with pistachio yogurt, garlic chips, and pistachio crumble; eggplant with tomato chutney and tahini; and sweet potatoes spread with brown butter.

Other dishes showcasing the chef’s mastery of the flame include wood-fired tuna with stracciatella cheese, crispy buckwheat, and chermoula; beef tartare with potatoes anna and black truffle vinaigrette; and butternut squash with parmesan fonduta, salsa verde, and Sicilian pistachio. The feast culminates in a hanging pineapple tarte tatin with dulce de leche and homemade Stracciatella ice cream.