gather round

It’s no secret. Let it be known. I’d love to end up on a ranch somewhere in Montana – fly fishing by day and hosting a meal with friends under the big sky at night.

Boy I sure love the palpable energy of the city - but, as they say, the mountains are calling.

Occasionally I’m given sweet mirages of this life I desire, and they energize and remind me of where I’m heading. Thursday was one of those nights.

My girl crush Ashely from Kitchen Unnecessary threw a little shin-dig at Filson HQ in Seattle. I’m not totally sure how I stumbled upon her initially – but boy am I enamored with the beautiful thing she’s building.

“Cooking outside is not just for summer, our series shows you the magic of cooking seasonal ingredients over the fire all year long. Rain or shine – or snow, Ashley Rodriguez and her guests will show you how to embrace cooking outdoors with the wild foods we find. Our passion is to get outside as often as we can. To grasp a sense of awe as we surround ourselves with towering trees, vast oceans, massive mountains, and a world of wild foods. Then come together, around the fire, cook an extraordinary meal and share it with others.”

Um. You get it now right? 

The event was to preview the premier of Ashley’s time in Alaska amongst natives on the quest for coho salmon, foraging with a local herbalist, and the collaborative feast cooked over the fire with the immense beauty of Sheridan Glacier as a backdrop. 

Picture it. Foraged berries. Wild caught Montana blue ribbon trout. Catching a wiff of burning logs. Jumpy flames working naturally, diligently.

Returning to our most basic instincts and the oldest cooking method, chefs have decided to follow the smoke. It’s funny to call this return to cooking over fire a trend. It’s certainly the oldest in the book. Campfire is a return to the origins of cooking and warm hospitality.

Inspired by the evening, I’ve put together a little gift guide of outdoor cooking must haves, featuring items (and imagery from) Barebones, a company focused on products founded on utility and perfected by design, supporting unbridled inspiration, creation, and fulfillment of elevated outdoor experiences.

lauren ledbetter