Mallmann's World

One of the highest points in Uruguay, the views from Francis’ isolated mountaintop retreat in the Sierras de Garzón extend across a limitless horizon.
Cattle outnumber humans four to one in Uruguay and freely roam the open pastures of the Sierras de Garzón.
One of Francis’ favorite cooking techniques, El Domo, is a full afternoon affair, allowing the evening’s feast to slowly roast as the smoldering fires are periodically tended.
Francis’ Sous Chef, Octavio Schuler Giacomini, tends the fires of El Domo, providing steady heat for our roasting chickens, pineapples and cabbages, as they sway in the mountaintop breezes and our potatoes char in the embers rescoldo style.
Using freshly cut branches from highly aromatic local bay trees, Francis’ team periodically baste the roasting chickens with water, infusing them with flavor and preventing them from drying out.
Mementos and photographs of a life well lived can be found throughout Francis’ mountain retreat.
A restless adventurer, a brooding poet, a larger than life iconoclast who will defy most any title you throw at him, Francis Mallmann is hard to resist (full disclosure: this was our fourth adventure with the man!).
Occupying the converted space of the former General Store, Restaurante Garzón welcomes guests off the main square of the Pueblo.
Defying domestication, at Restaurante Garzón, an enormous steel wood-burning furnace, extends beyond the walls of the kitchen. The flames within, continuously stoked by Sous Chef Octavio Schuler Giacomini and the rest of Francis’ team, power the kitchen’s grill and enable open fire cooking regardless of Uruguay’s tempestuous summer downpours.
Local dogs freely roam the dirt streets of the small Pueblo of Garzón.
On board a local fishing trolley, we strike out across Laguna Garzón to meet Francis.
The staff of Restaurante Garzón often retreat to the pool hall at Lo del Naza (Naza’s Place), Garzón’s local watering hole.
An afternoon espresso and loose sleeve cuffs (here on our Indigo Workshirt) are both requisites of Francis’ daily life in Garzón.
Luna inspires and abides by one of our favorite adages: Laugh kills lonesome.
Self-professed “raiders of the lost art,” the master craftsman at French Broad Boat Works in Asheville, NC are experts in the history of wooden boat design and crafted Francis’ custom drift boat completely by hand -- the perfect vessel for full day’s adventure on Laguna Garzón.
As the moon rises and he leads a group of friends back to the marina, Francis dons our Panama Cloth Field Jacket to cut the evening breezes that cool the lagoon.
Francisco Bertorello readies la plancha with a salt cure for our cookout at the Garzón train station.
With the setting sun slowly transforming the facade of the abandoned Garzón train station to brilliant gold, Segundo Achinelli keeps neat in our Utility Apron as he prepares to greet guests for the evening’s cookout.
With no posted signage, Francis navigates the local roads leading into the Sierras de Garzón from memory.
The chickens approach perfection as Danny Rubin grabs more local coronilla to stoke the fire.
Francis and our founder, Peter Buchanan-Smith, share a few Pilsen (the beer of choice in the Pubelo), as the evening begins to take shape on the porch of Lo del Naza.
Head Chef Maria Sol Ravaioli beckons Francis back to the restaurant to prepare for the evening’s service.
As dusk falls, the fires of El Domo are brought back to full force and our feast nears completion.
The sky (and Francis’ grill) burst in color as the sun retreats over Laguna Garzón and Francis prepares a sundown snack of grilled vegetables.
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Spring 2017, Francis Mallmann's Uruguay

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg

A restless adventurer, a brooding poet, a larger than life iconoclast who will defy most any title you throw at him,
Francis Mallmann is hard to resist (full disclosure: this is our fourth catalog with the man!). We last left Francis over a
year ago on his island in remote and snowy Patagonia, and as you’ll see our gear is equally at home here in Francis’s
warm weather Uruguayan refuge. Hot and dusty or cold and drenched, our products are the tools for every adventure, everywhere.
Oh did we forget to mention: he's also a world famous chef.

- Peter Buchanan-Smith, Founder

Behind the Scenes, Garzón, Uruguay

Videos by Derek Amengual