Imagine the ultimate cooking class, led by one of the coolest chefs on the planet, in the wildest corner of Argentine Patagonia. A few times a year, Francis Mallmann invites guests to stay at his Patagonian island home for 5 days of private cooking classes (an exclusive experience available to PSA clients).
Over coffee and a medialuna, Plan South America poses a few questions to the great Argentine chef and lyrical bon vivant.
Which Latin American cuisine do you find most inspiring at the moment?
I feel many countries are getting interesting but it’s not reinventing, it’s more embracing the true roots.
It is very difficult to get fire permits in London, but we’re working on it!
Francis Mallmann seems imperturbable – what frustrates you?
I am a very patient man. Rudeness, I don’t like.
How do you see Argentina’s gastronomy evolving over the next ten years?
There will continue a language of Avant Garde modernism, but I think the path is in purism.
How might a typical day look for those fortunate enough to reach your fabled Patagonian island?
Well, a hearty breakfast followed by a 6 hour cooking class with fires. A walk, some fishing, old movies, drinks and dinner!
Alive or dead, who would you most like to host on La Isla?
W H Auden, Anna Akhmatova and Luis Borges.
What do you never travel without?
My sewing equipment and watercolours.
For someone to understand more about the Argentina you so love, which writer and/or piece of music would you recommend they look into?
Listen to Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramírez.
Read Far Away and Long Ago by W H Hudson.
What do you hope will be your greatest legacy?
The quality of cooking language.
FOLLOW FRANCIS MALLMANN ON INSTAGRAM: @FRANCISMALLMAN