With an unusual chill in the air for Florida in the month of April, I have eagerly been anticipating the start of barbecue season. Anxiously waiting to put my newly improved barbecue skills to test—or at least hang around a nice, warm fire to escape the chill in the air.
I found Around the Fire to be one of the more sophisticated grilling books I have read thus far despite the straightforward and family oriented recipes. The recipes in Around the Fire are composed of various cuisines from places authors Greg and Gabrielle Denton have visited which produces different flavor profiles for each dish, but the same essence of what a good barbecue is.
Expert grilling skills are not required for recreating the recipes in your own backyard, or kitchen for that matter, however, I would suggest to anyone who picks up this book to at least have basic knowledge of grilling techniques, equipment, and supplies because it will make following along with the recipes a lot easier on yourself and more edible for your family and friends. The book briefly touches on grilling techniques and equipment in the beginning, but I found it to be extremely helpful with prepping and cooking when I was confident with my knowledge of grilling.
Because you are grilling there will be some prep time and patience involved with the cooking process, but the best thing about this book is that the recipes can be recreated on an old-fashioned grill outside, or in the kitchen with a stovetop grill; the only difference is you will not get that smoke flavor that tends to run through barbecue food.
I loved the diversity of Around the Fire when it came to the recipes because it covered everything from starter courses to desserts and cocktails. The only thing I wish I could change about the book is the cocktails section. I wish there were more non-alcoholic and alcoholic drink recipes available because at the end of the day it is a barbecue which tends to bring different age groups together, and I think the drink recipes could have reflected that more.