Cook up simple But deliCious FAther’s DAy fAre
Spare the chef: Easy dishes for a Father’s Day cookout, writes Laura Brehaut.
This Father’s Day, treat Dad to an alfresco dinner cooked over an open fire.
From perennial favourite baby-back ribs to a boozy spin on grilled stone fruit, Valerie Aikman- Smith’s recipes were designed for the outdoors.
“Get the kids out there, let them grill and give Dad the day off,” she says with a laugh. “Let Dad have a break from the grill and everybody else dive in and have fun.”
In her eighth cookbook, Feast from the Fire (Ryland Peters & Small, 2018), the Los Angeles-based food stylist and writer focuses on fire at its most elemental. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, expensive gear isn’t required to succeed at making any of her 65 summer recipes.
“Not everybody has access to beautiful, high-end barbecues,” Aikman-Smith says. “I wanted (to write) a book for everybody to have fun if they went camping or if they were at the beach or in their backyard over an oil drum … really simple recipes that could transfer from the campfire to a high-end grill.”
After all, the beauty of cooking seasonally in the summertime is that it doesn’t take much to create a stunning and appetizing meal.
Erin Kunkel’s photography for the book illustrates this laid-back, produce-first ethos and gives the collection a distinct sense of place.
“That’s where all the beauty of the landscape and the produce comes from,” AikmanSmith says.
In highlighting the accessibility of the method, AikmanSmith says, she hopes to entice readers to try something new during the warmer months.
“There’s a cook in all of us. And we just need to get outside with friends … have some wine and make recipes that are really (straightforward),” she says.
“You don’t want to be stuck for hours in the kitchen. You want to get outside in the summer. Make something over the fire and enjoy your friends but keep it simple at the same time: simple and delicious.”
Get the kids involved, keep it simple and the whole family will enjoy Dad’s Father’s Day feast.