Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Live Fire Cooking: The fun and the fear

I'm often asked 'what the allure of it all is, what makes cooking with fire so attractive'
The answer is both simple and complex. It tastes good, it looks great, it's both fun and slightly scary to work with. But it's more than just a heat source, a cooking method, a fad. For many it's both craft and culture, a deep expression of who we are and where we are from

Yet the risk and danger element fascinates as much as puts fear into most chefs and cooks. Of course a healthy respect to the power of the flame, the devastation of fire, the real wipe out qualities that this element can bring, should always lurk in the mind of the chef. And it's that I believe is in part the  siren call, to start the journey into the smoke, the veil to which only fire can reveal its beauty.

I'm not sugesting all chefs and cooks have some deep and latent pyromaniacal tendencies, (though I've meet the odd one, odd being the key work in this construct)
But what i'm proposing is this; that fire is an elemental link and a deep understanding of that is hardwired somewhere into us a humans, we evolved over millions of years, through many generations, to this here and now, to upright Homo Sapiens. An evolution of body and mind driven by fire. And so much of that has cleverly bought us to be here reading this blog of mine on the word wide web, the internet.

In cultures who worship their God's of choice, i'm not sure there's one i've found where fire doesn't feature. It's crosses every divide, every rule of every religion, culture and belief system. It has no claim by any, no dresscode, no meat or meat free preference. It like the Sun itself is universal. It is the one and only, giver of light, creator and destroyer. The rest is made up, or set in stone

Though possibly herein lies the rub. It might be a calling of sorts or just a base curiosity, but it is there as has it always been. 'Fire' as a word alone is somewhat alarming and calming, it's entered our psyche and is used in a beautiful number of ways. Fire for warmth. Fire for danger. Fire for summary dismissal. Fire at. Fire up. Even friendly fire, whatever that is meant to mean. But reassuringly, it's the flame part and the embers thereafter that take us on a journey each and every time we sit, work, cook with a fire. There is nothing quite like it and it holds an ever ending fascination to chefs. cooks and much of mankind.

Fire and food: Live Fire Cooking on Wood and Charcoals

It's definitely been an interesting last few years here at London Log Co,  as our business direction has been defined by a growing food revolution, happening here across the U.K. Much of our focus is on wood production and charcoals for the restaurant industry, with single species charcoals and wood becoming ingredients, as well as heat source for cooking and food.

But we've also expanded our services by sharing our knowledge on aromatics, techniques and flavour, along with grills and the whole how-to on wood requirement

I'd often toyed with the idea of working in a kitchen and making food as a profession, then I thought really hard about it and realised my family could do with me being around during the waking hours.
But I still had the thoughts of somewhere finding a niche, into which I'd fulfil my dreams of being involved in one way or another.

And then the street food revolution kicked off, much of it outdoors and often featuring a fire. I took a sniff of the smoke and was drawn by the flame, I knew where I wanted to be. But quite how I was going to do it wasn't wholly clear. However, I knew cooking outdoors was good for the soul, good for taking time out to contemplate life, but more so it was unbeatable for flavour.  Nothing can match the taste of the real thing, live fire is the real deal

And here we find ourselves in 2016 servicing a great part of the restaurant industry, running grills and events like MEATOPIA and in general 'living the live-fire dream'. My clothes, my hair and much of my life smells of the sweet perfume of wood smoke. It's not a burden I assure you, much joy follows the hard work

Amen, in smoke we trust

We have a new web site under way, i'll keep you posted. Meanwhile you can read further about us here, these people say it so much better.