Boiling Point

In the South, it’s not unusual for a party to begin with a very large pot and a wood fire. We’re funny that way. Southerners own the art of outdoor cooking, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a livelier example than a crawfish boil. (FYI, if you prefer to use large, sweet Gulf shrimp instead, no one will complain.) We love a rowdy boil because it’s as much an occasion as a meal. The fragrant pot and tumble of ingredients beckon us outside around a table, elbow-to-elbow with friends and fingers dusted with red spice. It’s a juicy, loud, messy, and delicious seasonal pleasure—mudbugs are at their best right now. Tim Byres, one of the smartest young chefs around, gets it. His restaurants, SMOKE and Chicken Scratch (part of a large alfresco space with live music, room for kids to play, and a garden), are devoted to cooking over fire, from-scratch food, and community. We love the funky, rustic edge he’s brought to shiny Dallas. And we love his Texas-spin on the boil even more

Southern Living