Tournant Farm to Fire Cooking

  • WT Travels
  • north america north america
  • April 2020

Man has played with fire for more than 800,000 years. Much like our nomadic fire empowered ancestors, Portland-based chefs, Jaret Foster and Mona Johnson, travel the continents and cook primal meals over fire.

Taming fire and using it to cook nature’s bounty is what catapulted human intelligence and distinguishes man from other worldly creatures. No longer constrained with the laborious effort of chewing and expending calories to digest raw food, humans were able to move on to other activities such as, well, socializing....

This is food with heart and soul. Foraging in forests, scouring city and village markets, connecting personally with ranchers and fisherman, this deeply committed pair reveals the magic in nature’s intensely diverse food chain. The rewards and bounty of their efforts transforms into a feast for all of man’s senses. From Oregon to Texas, to Mexico, to New York to Croatia, with stops in between, this fire powered team shucks oysters, truffle hunts, picks wildflowers, grinds chilis, examines, tears, tastes, and touches food. Together, they have mastered the art of social cooking over fire. A deep respect for community and food drives their slow, mostly outdoor cooking prepared to inspire unhurried, immersive, memory worthy dining experiences. With snow capped in winter or wildflower studded mountains in summer, streams, oceans, forests, hawks soaring overhead, mist rising from the rivers, and glorious sunsets, nature’s backdrop is the ideal canvas for creating the perfect setting for foodies to come together as strangers and to leave as friends.

Tournant / TUƦNⱭ̃/

A turning point or watershed moment.

Zucchini Fritters with Fennel Flowers & Basil Yogurt

Caramelized Cabbage with Anchovies

Dream Fish

Adriatic Dream Fish Grilled in Banana & Fig Leaves

Intellectual chefs, common are the conversations with Mona & Jared of the delights of traditional Croatian fire cooking in a ispod peke, a bell-shaped terra cotta pot in which embers are placed over the cooking vessel, or the importance of a seasonal, mostly plant-based diet.

This is a sensory food experience that returns in memory like the burst mode of a digital camera: the lingering scent of smoke, the light dancing on the faces, the sound of pleasing togetherness, the cold nipping noses, the heat of flushing faces, the exploding scent of foraged that afternoon white truffles, and the entangled tastes of plate after plate of simply prepared, perfectly complex fire roasted food. Every bit as exciting, arguably more so, as dining in a  Michelin star restaurant, this roaming kitchen’s intentional primitive cooking over fire wildness provides an escape from the ordinary and an opportunity for real and lasting human connection. Eating together, after all, is an opportunity to nourish both body and soul.