Cook up sim­ple But de­li­Cious FA­ther’s DAy fAre

Spare the chef: Easy dishes for a Fa­ther’s Day cook­out, writes Laura Bre­haut.

Ottawa Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - Ex­cerpted from Feast from the Fire by Valerie Aik­man-Smith, with per­mis­sion from Ry­land Peters & Small.

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.”

PHO­TOS: ERIN KUNKEL/RY­LAND PETERS & SMALL

Get the kids in­volved, keep it sim­ple and the whole fam­ily will en­joy Dad’s Fa­ther’s Day feast.

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