Where there’s smoke…

Mark Rosenstein is the founder of The Market Place restaurant in downtown Asheville and a major proponent of cooking with fire — he’s even built a stone wood-fired oven in his backyard. Rosenstein will lead a cooking series, “Fire and Ice,” on Sunday, July 17. Students will learn about wood grilling, how to make wood-oven pizzettas and “how to drink beer with two hands.” For more information about this and other classes, visit thefrenchbroad.com.

Rosenstein shares his favorite grilling tips below.

“Timing your fire is always important. People either start too early or too late.

• The smaller the item that you're cooking, generally the faster the fire. If you're doing something like shrimp, you should build a faster, smaller fire. But if you're doing something like a leg of lamb or a whole chicken, you want a fire that's had the chance to burn up and settle down and have some gray ash on the coals.

• Use a natural hardwood charcoal. Or, you can even chop wood up from your wood pile.

• A clean, well-oiled grill is the best tool. Make sure you clean your grill after every use. That's very simple.

• If you have a gas-fired grill, you can always take soaked wood chips and put them directly over the heating element for wood-smoke flavor.

• While you're grilling, learn how to drink your beer with both hands. It's a skill that must be acquired. It forces you to focus on your beer-drinking.

• You can grill everything! For greens, I take the stems off, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and put them right on the grill. You can also take zucchini and cut it lengthwise into strips and toss them in your favorite salad dressing (not blue cheese, of course). Marinate and let that drain, then grill it at a lower heat.

• If you're using charcoal or wood, wrap your potatoes or your beets in foil with a little butter or olive oil and bury them in the coals. Turn them every once in a while.”

Rosenstein has an idea for the perfect 4th of July centerpiece for carnivores. Read on for a basic recipe.

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