Chefs on Fire

Chefs on Fire

Cooking With an Open Flame

By Melissa Pasanen, photographed by Andrew Wellman

After a flirtation with high-tech culinary tools that facilitated precise trompe l’oeil creations and guaranteed evenly cooked food with the touch of a button, chefs have come home to the oldest technique there is: the direct interplay between fire and food. Around the country and here in Vermont, an increasing number of restaurants are using indoor wood-fired grills and ovens to put out smoke-kissed food with that inimitable lick of flame. Cooking with wood delivers food with an honest simplicity, the chefs say, although it requires more skill to manage than one might expect. It’s a little bit wild and exciting, but also fosters a warm and welcoming restaurant ambiance. Vermont chefs relish the challenge — and the flavors. As Eric Warnstedt, chef-owner of the new wood-fire-focused Hen of the Wood in Burlington, says,

“It just feels like the right way to cook here in Vermont.”

Eric Warnstedt, Chef-Owner, Hen of the Wood, Burlington, VT

Chefs on Fire Slide Image

Read more about why an increasing number of restaurants like Hen of the Wood, Nika, Table 24, Worthy Kitchen and Guild & Company Steakhouse are using indoor wood-fired grills and ovens. Want to read more about Vermont Life?

“It’s as important as the beef.”

Phillip Clayton, Chef-Partner, Guild & Company Steakhouse, S. Burlington, VT

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