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Firetender tales

Paul Alward has a killer recipe for may include ash and dirt.

Paul Alward, farmer & co-founder, Hudson Valley Harvest @hudsonvalleyharvest

First memory of campfire cookery a young kid with a freshly caught catfish, inexperiencedly filleted, cooked unevenly, on the flattest rock we could find, frequently poked with sticks for no good reason, seasoned in falling ashes and dirt, and absolutely unforgettably delicious.

Favorite memory around a bonfire

...was watching the shadows of smoke rise skyward, overlooking Fontana Lake in the Smoky Mountains.

Worst experience in the outdoors

What seemed to be the cold, unending rain camping in southeast Alaska.

Can’t wait to

...have the time and opportunity to patiently cook a whole pig underground someday.

Cliche or not, dancing embers still mesmerize Mr. Dana Koteen.

"The town I went to high school in had two main schools: North and South. There was a third, smaller school that I would graduate from called The Village School, the motto of which was 'The road to success doesn't just go North and South.' I have almost always taken the road less traveled."

In 2013, Dana would again take the road less traveled to begin shaping Restaurant Reason into the industry standard for training in restaurants. He joins the bon*fire team with intense passion for hospitality, a deep love of food, a passion, and a history of spending summers barefoot in the hills of Vermont to a soundtrack of 70s folk music, reggae and the smacking sound of hacky sacks.

First memory of campfire cookery...

was a three day overnight I went on at summer camp. I was 9 or 10 and the hikes were usually one day, one night, or two nights - the latter really being for experienced or ambitious campers. I don't really remember what we ate, but I remember setting up the fire and then making sure to "leave the campsite as we found it" when we were done.

My favorite memory about a bonfire

...besides the inaugural event last summer at Satur Farms, was also at summer camp. I'm not sure if I was really little or the fire was really that big, but it felt like the logs were ten feet tall!! It was so bright against the night sky, and the warmth coming off of it was incredible. Maybe it's cliche, but I remember watching the little fly-aways float up into the air and being totally mesmerized.

The worst experience in the outdoors

...was that same three day overnight camping trip. It rained and I was soaked, we got lost, I was hungry and tired, and I'm pretty sure I cried. I remember one moment, boots soaked through and standing in mud, just crying. So embarrassing! 

Ben makes a convincing argument for spending February in Maine

Ben Conniff is President and Co-Founder of Luke's Lobster, a Maine-bred lobster shack with a mission to make the world's best lobster rolls by using traceable, sustainable seafood and respecting its providers and communities. Luke's has 24 locations in the US and 6 in Japan. Ben is also the author of Real Maine Food, a cookbook compiling 100 recipes from across the state using local bounty. @lukeslobster

First memory of campfire cookery

Believe it or not, I was a Cub Scout. So my first campfire cooking involved hot dogs on sticks in various state parks around Connecticut. There's no better way to make a hot dog.

Favorite memory around a bonfire

Every winter we take our most senior Luke's teammates up to Camden, ME for the U.S. National Toboggan Championships. We spend the day hanging around a giant bonfire, grilling lobster tails and chowder, and racing toboggans. It makes February worth living through. 

Worst experience in the outdoors

It's hard to have a bad memory outdoors...but I guess my worst execution was a cross country skiing yurt trip friends and I took in Colorado in college. We trekked up the wrong canyon, parallel to the one where the yurt was, and had to bushwhack over the ridge after sundown in a few feet of snow. Dinner in that yurt in the middle of the night was the most satisfying of my life. 

Can’t wait to

learn a ton from our hosts so I can embark on my own farm restoration someday.

Cascun Farm has tried building a campfire with green wood so that you never have to...

First memory of camp fire cookery

Growing up going camping in the Adirondacks every summer, Hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick were my first memory.

Best memory around a campfire

My favorite memory is the smell in the morning from the camp fire the night before.

Worst experience in the outdoors...

Only having green wood to use to try to build a campfire and after many, many tries, having to walk away defeated.

Can't wait to...

Be able to share good food and laughter around the campfire together...always excited to learn something new and create new friendships!

Royal Oak charcoal says it told from the heart of a humble bag of charcoal.

First memory of campfire cookery…

Somewhere in the year 1963, I felt like there was a fire inside of me to do something with my life. So I set my sight on becoming the world’s greatest charcoal and haven’t stopped since.

Favorite memory around a bonfire…

I’ve had a lot of great memories around bonfires over the years, but my favorites are when a group of people come together, collectively, to share their ideas, dreams, and visions of their future. To me, there’s nothing more compelling than standing around a fire with people that care about you.

Worst experience in the outdoors...

Being left out in the rain, with no way to get inside, and all the doors are locked.

Can’t wait to…

Make memories together and learn from one another, united by fire.

Upper East Side firetender wanted: sam pogue

First memory of campfire cookery...

Camping outside of Vail with my dad and stepmother where the nearest person was 2 hours away, and we had to hang our garbage bags from a tree away from our tents. And yet dinner was still somehow still refined dishes served on my grandmother's good china.

Favorite memory around a bonfire...

The first time I ventured to Red Hook, I ended up sipping wine around a bonfire with great people in a grassy backyard, complete with an airstream trailer. Needless to say, it changed my mind about the tiny Brooklyn hamlet and what is possible on long weekend's spent in the city.

Worst experience in the outdoors...

High school parties in the woods in Westchester that usually involved warm beer, no food, long walks in circles and shoes covered in mud.

Can't wait to...

To try out cooking Francis Mallmann's "Weeping Lamb".