Chef Ben Ford getting it done...
Chef Ben Ford’s recent book Taming the Feast (Atria) is easily the best and most inspirational cookbook we have seen this year. This volume is a great venture point for alpha males who love to cook (and especially grill) to take their usual summer grilling routine to the next level. Indeed, Chef Ford transforms cooking/grilling into an adventure sport (as befits the son of Harrison Ford). In Mr. Ford’s thoughtful introduction he connects his father’s early experience as a professional carpenter to his own interest in putting together “feasts” that have a structure and generate a sense of theatricality.
The book itself is very artful with great diagrams, illustrations and instructions to aid in generating Chef Ford’s projects. Some of these projects take on the air of a medieval feast with fairly elaborate time lines starting as much as a month beforehand. Some of Chef Ford’s endeavors are jaw dropping affairs such as the “Southland Barrel Clambake” which involves gathering river stones, seaweed and municipal permits (if applicable) and a used wine barrel. Other affairs in the book are more modest and can be applied to everyday grilling such as the use of cedar planks in grilling and some interesting combinations for the grill such as bacon and dates.
Marketed as a summer book, Ford’s book nonetheless functions as a great manual for year round grilling. And, for us it functions as a kind of aspirational volume for a kind of brawny, Hemingwayesque approach to food and grilling that is particularly refreshing. Get this guy a Food or Cooking Channel show!
M & L
All Photos Copyright (c) 2014 by Ben Ford from TAMING THE FEAST published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Photography by Frank Ockenfels 3