In Uruguay, a nation of gauchos and cattle, nearly every cook has a way with the grill. To read more about grilling in Uruguay, see Shane Mitchell’s story from our June/July 2013 issue, “Art of the Parrilla.”

Chef and cookbook author Francis Mallmann gets an early start–as dawn breaks, the fires he lit hours before are ready for a cookout in rural Uruguay’s cattle country. James Fisher
At La Huella restaurant in the fishing village of Jose Ignacio, octopus is seared on the grill and paired with sliced potatoes flavored with smoked paprika. James Fisher
Butterflied whole lambs and sides of beef are slowly grilled on crosses and spits next to live coals tended by Mallmann’s assistants. “Patience is one of the most important ingredients for asado,” he explains. “You can never be in a hurry.” James Fisher
Al aire libre” is a Uruguayan expression that loosely means “free air.” It also applies to the outdoor asado extravaganzas Mallmann has made famous. James Fisher
Tira de asado (shortribs) and thick-cut rib-eye steaks are specialties at El Palenque, one of the parrilla restaurants in Montevideo’s Mercado del Puerto. James Fisher
An asador prepares spicy chorizo sausages at a weekend rodeo in Garzon. The traditional gaucho diet consists of grilled meat and yerba mate, a nutritious herbal tea. James Fisher