Mallmann, Oh Man!


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


Francis Mallaman, sharing his signature fish baked in salt.

For over a decade, long before Netflix’s Chef Table made him even more popular, Argentinian chef, dandy and raconteur, Francis Mallmann had been on my bucket list of people to meet before I kick the mortal coil. It was not for any particular reason other than just meeting, chatting, and simply enjoying their magnificence.

Earlier this year, I got a chance to interview Nitin Sawhney, whose music has been the soundtrack to my life as an immigrant. And this memorial day weekend, I got to meet Mallmann in a private ceremony. There he was — in chef’s whites, trying hard to hide a colorful check shirt. Wearing Gucci slides, a Montblanc pen in his pocket, vintage sunglasses covering his mischievous eyes, and his blue linen hat, he looked youthful. I didn’t get to chat much, though we did share a moment about Paul Simon’s music and the divinity of fire. We discussed my newsboy hat. I might have remarked about the joys of writing with a fountain pen.

There was some talk about cooking in the pits (and tandoors,) but mostly, it was Mallmann doing what he does — cooking on an open fire and turning the simplest of foods into the theater, a spectacle, and an evening to remember. I don’t eat red meat or the sweet stuff, but I did enjoy the fish, warm after being taken out after baking in salt on an open fire. And I (Read more...)