Trend Watch: Rotisserie Cooking Heats Up
Long relegated to the prepared-foods aisle of local supermarkets (or the counters of a certain New England chicken chain), spit-turned meats are making a comeback in the country's hottest kitchens. Big-name chefs like Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier — the James Beard Award-winning founders of Maine's acclaimed Arrows — have built their newest restaurants around the humble rotisserie, dishing up whole birds, fish and even vegetables spun over roaring fires. "There’s something inherently neolithic about seeing your dinner cooked in front of you over the open flame," says Frasier, who installed a 40-inch steel spit at the center of M.C. Spiedo, the rustic Italian restaurant he opened with Gaier in Boston this February.
Rotisserie cooking is also a remarkably simple technique that, thanks to the magic of electricity, often requires less attention than oven roasting. "The animal is getting heat constantly from three sides, so the cooking process is extremely even," Frasier explains. "You’re putting a chicken on stick and letting it go. It’s simple to master, and it's something that humans respond to. It makes you happy and hungry." Here are nine places to try the rotisserie trend right now, plus several others on the way.