STAY IN A MOVIE-SET-PERFECT GAUCHO TOWN IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OF URUGUAY

[PUEBLO GARZON, URUGUAY] — Pueblo Garzon is a one-horse….actually a 75 horse town in the rolling green estancia country of Uruguay’s Maldonado province. It’s a gorgeous 40 minute drive inland from the bohemian chic beach town of Jose Ignacio. The town was practically abandoned until famous Argentine chef Francis Mallmann bought a building and then nearly the whole town to create a movie-set perfect town and install another fine restaurant in his empire. Others, mostly friends, famous and wealthy, have followed, buying up abandoned buildings and creating summer houses, yet preserving the rustic gaucho character of the whole town. Speaking of that, there’s not much to the town, just a few square blocks surround a central plaza. But it is a beautifully scenic and mellow

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A GAUCHO FESTIVAL IN URUGUAY

[PUEBLO GARZON, URUGUAY] –We were in the tiny quiet village of Pueblo Garzon, Uruguay. Once abandoned, but bought by the famous chef Francis Mallmann who added a world famous restaurant and small five room hotel.  We were here for a few days to eat and bask in the green wide expanse of the Uruguayan countryside. Little did we know we’d stumbled on a gaucho parade in Garzon. It was the First of March. We wanted to take horses up for a picnic in the nearby Uruguayan highlands. But the extremely nice people at the Hotel Garzon apologized, but said in clipped-English,”I’m sorry but normally we accommodate your request, but today all the horses in town are taken for the parade.”  “What parade?” “Today is our

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A REVISIT TO FRANCIS MALLMANN’S STUNNING GARZON HOTEL & RESTAURANT IN URUGUAY

[PUEBLO GAZON, URUGUAY] — Details. Details. Details. It’s all in the details. And famous Argentine chef Francis Mallmann’s hideout in the small, un-developed Pueblo Garzon is dripping with it. Imagine the perfect movie set or photo shoot where every single corner, nook and cranny exudes great thought and attention. Nothing is missed. Zoom in on any square meter and you have your shot. Not to mention the food. Oh boy, the food. Set about 40 minutes inland from the popular Bohemian Jetset town of Jose Ignacio the restaurant has been drawing carloads of gourmands to make the trek inland, past the expansive Uruguayan estancias, cows, gauchos and farmland to this treasured idyll. Long abandoned, he bought up most of the town years ago and built this

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COOKING WITH FIRE IN JOSE IGNACIO

Each time I go back to either Argentina or Uruguay I’m amazed at the variety of methods they use with cooking with fire. We’re not talking about just wood fired grills or pizza ovens, but truly unique engineering feats to draw the best of wood, fire and iron.  The more I eat, the more I like. I’m going to start this file and keep updating with the different fire types I run across and from learning by seeing (and eating). JOSE IGNACIO — PARADOR LA HUELLA           JOSE IGNACIO — MARISMO   JOSE IGNACIO — LA SUSANA       A TASTE OF JOSE IGNACIO  This year we were completely lucky that the town (organized by the owners of La Huella) organized

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OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF URUGUAY’S ESTANCIAS, A JEWEL BOX

(Garzon, Uruguay) — About 40 or so miles inland from the surf of Jose Ignacio is a sleepy little town called Garzon.  There, in the middle of gaucho country and home to Uruguay’s famous grass-fed beef, Francis Mallmann (my favorite restauranteur in the world) has created a true destination place, El Garzon. I first ate at his famous restaurant Los Negros in Jose Ignacio several years ago and was immediately hit over the head with his incomprable design style, intense focus on every detail and his complete dedication to cooking with fire. Los Negros was built around a horno, a large clay oven, where nearly everything was cooked around the high temperature wood fire. He has since closed Los Negros, but I’ve sought out his other

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