Argie Chefs: Francis Mallmann


Last week I gave Narda Lepes some love, even though the jury’s still out on whether or not I actually like her. This week’s Argentine chef I decided to write about is Francis Mallmann, badass of Patagonia. If you live in BA and are prone to channel surfing (zapping, as it’s called here) you’ve probably seen this dude cooking up a storm in the middle of the rustic wilderness, surrounded only by a huge fire pit, big iron pots and a beret. He’s one of the more prolific chefs here and has quite the respectable trajectory. His early years were marked by a dedication to French haute cuisine (for which he became famous here in the Arg), but his career changed in the 1990s when he decided to return to the simplistic roots of the Patagonian style cooking of his childhood.

He has since become world-famous for his three restaurants: Patagonia Sur in La Boca, 1884 in Mendoza and Garzón in Uruguay (near José Ignacio). Rather than rely on various complicated kitchen gadgets, Mallmann just needs a big open fire, a cast iron griddle (plancha), cast iron pots and maybe a huge rock or two. It’s actually pretty incredible to watch him cook – ok, watch him cook on TV – since he really seems to thrive on such simple but foolproof techniques to create amazing dishes with basic ingredients.

Patagonia Sur is known as one of the most expensive restaurants in Buenos Aires (for serious), and Garzón was listed in the New York Times as a Top-10 restaurant worth a plane ride. So it should go without saying that if you want to sample what’s supposed to be one of the best meals of life, you might want to empty your piggy bank, and then some, first. (Patagonia Sur has received mixed reviews from many who think the prices are just out of this world ridiculous. Though I’ve never been there I kind of feel like their complaints might be justified. Still dying to go to Garzón, however.)

Grillmasters can pick up his cookbook Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way (aka FIRE, Lots and lots of FIRE) and whip up some amazeballs things like rabbit, grilled octopus, and lots of other things that require a badass grill/parrilla.

Fun fact: Mallmann speaks four languages and loves poetry. Awwwwww.

For a longer, probably better written article on Mallmann head on over to this website.

Photo Credits: Fire Roasted Catering, Planeta Joy, Victor’s Food


Yearning for Candy

Halloween isn’t totally ignored here in BA. In fact, there were quite a few parties going on last night. But it’s just not the same – not everyone dresses up, and those who do haven’t spent weeks/months planning the best costume (wait, am I the only one who did that? Side note: I am proud of the fact that in college my roommates and I came up with some pretty damn witty and creative group costumes).

Last night while we were at Magdalena’s Party for a little fiesta, I stuffed my face with palitos de la selva (one of my favorite local golosinas) but what I was really craving was THIS:

CANDY !!!! Specifically infinite amounts of Tootsie Rolls, Almond Joy, and enough Candy Corn to rot all of the teeth out of my head. Or give me the worst stomachache of life because I don’t know the meaning of moderation.

Argentines love their sugar highs, so you can get a pretty wide range of candy around here. But it’s when Halloween rolls around that I want the real deal. Until I’m home in the States in a few weeks, when I can binge on leftover Halloween treats in the CVS clearance aisle, I’ll just have to lick my computer screen and deal with it.

Photo Credit: Babble Blog

Food Porn Friday

I was out late last night and would give anything for any of the following: a Chipotle burrito (specifically), a bacon, egg & cheese smothered in hot sauce on an English muffin, a steaming bowl of Vindaloo … OR a Baked & Wired cupcake. Seriously, these things are like crack. They’re huge, #1, and they’re 100x better than Georgetown Cupcake. Without further ado, I give you: a sweet, crumbly, buttery Food Porn Friday.

Photo Credit: The Foodbuster

Happy Diwali!


Happy Diwali to you! If you’re not sure what Diwali is (tsk, tsk), shame on you. Now head over to this Wikipedia link and read up. Let’s celebrate the Hindu Festival of Lights by talking about my favorite food of all time, shall we?

I’ve been an Indian food lover since I was 8 or so. I have fond memories of drinking lassis at Haandi, our local restaurant, and stuffing my face on jingha masala. Yum city. Moving to Buenos Aires was a challenge at first as I couldn’t seem to find Indian food anywhere. Luckily there is a pretty good representation now and several restaurants from which to choose. There’s even an Indian grocery store tucked away in Belgrano. Win!

Here is a shortlist of great spots for a curry fix in Buenos Aires:

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Top 5 Korean Restaurants

Photo Credit - Lili Kocsis

You probably didn’t know this, but Buenos Aires is home to the 2nd largest Korean community in Latin America. So why don’t you pop out of the Palermo comfort zone, hail a taxi and head to Bajo Flores for some spicy Korean BBQ? It’s a fun way to share a big meal with friends, grill your own meat and hang out in a place you probably wouldn’t visit otherwise.

Head on over to The Argentina Independent’s website for the full listing and contact information for all 5 spots!