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Published: Friday June 27, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday June 27, 2014 MYT 2:42:21 PM

Ben Ford writes DIY manual for outdoor parties

Chef Ben Ford poses with a crusted halibut entree he prepared at the Anderson in Home house, Jan 19, 2004, in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. – REUTERS

Chef Ben Ford poses with a crusted halibut entree he prepared at the Anderson in Home house, Jan 19, 2004, in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. – REUTERS

Chef, son of actor Harrison Ford, says book is ‘blueprint’ for ‘meal around a big table with friends’.

American chef Ben Ford’s perfect outdoor parties are not only about great food but getting a bit down and dirty with a saw and a hammer.

In his first book Taming the Feast, co-written with Carolynn Carreño, Ford shares recipes for a clambake and whole pig roast, including instructions for building a roasting box and cinder block pit.

The 46-year-old, who owns the restaurant Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, California, traced his penchant for building to his father, actor Harrison Ford, who had been a carpenter.

Ford, a Los Angeles native, spoke to Reuters about outdoor cooking, the local food scene and fish-head soup.

Why did you write about outdoor cookouts in your book?

This is my next development as a chef. I was getting more into outdoor cooking. I’m also very interested in wood fires. Emotionally I really love that feeling of being around a big table with friends. I wanted to give people a blueprint and an outline for being able to create those events for themselves.

What are your tips with cooking on an open fire?

Even on a charcoal fire, you want to rotate your meat and cooking around the grill. You want to have a very engineered approach to your cooking. I give some techniques to be able to achieve that.

An image from the book, Taming The Feast. – Amazon.com

How has the LA food scene changed since you started as a chef?

When I first started out, I had to go to San Francisco to train because we had four, five good restaurants in Los Angeles. Even those five couldn’t match with our top 50 now. For too long, LA has looked at San Francisco as its big brother, taking our lead in our cuisine from there. What’s happening with Baja and in Mexico right now is amazing. Some of our bravest and most amazing chefs are from Mexico right now.

What were some of your food memories growing up?

I went to Japan when I was 12 and then again when I was 16. I had my second or third day of fish head soup in the morning instead of the traditional corn flakes. I tried it and it was good. Even at that age, I started to have this notion you could put yourself in the hands of a chef and you would be rewarded with those experiences. – Reuters

For a look at Ben Ford preparing Baja Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Slaw Salad, click here.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Chef Ben Ford, Taming The Feast cookbook, DIY manual for outdoor parties

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