On a summer night, with close friends and a fire pit or charcoal grill, you can create lasting memories without even trying. But throw a choice cut of meat and some just-picked vegetables on the grate, and you suddenly have the fixings for a special occasion.

“All it really takes is heat, sometimes a grate and always good ingredients,” writes Greg Denton, chef and co-owner of Ox Restaurant in Portland. Greg should know. He and his wife Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton – both James Beard Award finalists – have just written a fabulous book about cooking over an open flame.

“Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant” was published in March by Ten Speed Press, just in time for summer evenings ahead. The cookbook is the latest accomplishment for the Dentons, who were named two of Food & Wine’s best new chefs in 2014 and opened a second restaurant, SuperBites, in Portland in 2015.

The recipes in “Around the Fire” are similar to the menu at Ox, with its focus on food cooked over a live fire and farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients. Many of the dishes are also inspired by Gabrielle’s Latin American heritage and her fond memories of eating her grandmother’s empanadas, ceviche and hominy stew in Quito, Ecuador. In fact, the Dentons cook on a 48-inch Grillworks brand grill modeled after an Argentinian grill known as a parrilla, and it is fully in view of the dining room at Ox for all to appreciate.

“Of course, there’s a reason a gorgeous crackling fire often lures people to gather around and stay awhile,” write the Dentons. “Besides being warm and giving nourishment, it’s relaxing and enchanting, something that can intrigue and mesmerize you for hours.”

The book is divided into four sections: Beginnings, From the Grill, From the Garden and Sweets and Drinks, and includes a wide variety of meat, fish and vegetable dishes. In Beginnings, the authors detail how to properly cook with fire and gently suggest that readers might need to ‘unlearn’ how they currently grill. The Dentons explain the differences between cooking with wood, charcoal and gas, discuss grill sizes, and even compare cooking utensils.

The recipes in each section include both traditional summertime favorites such as “Grilled Artichokes with Espelette Mayo” and “Broiled Cantaloupe with Hand-Stretched Mozzarella Curds and Prosciutto,” as well as more adventurous dishes with hard-to-find ingredients like “Smoked Beef Tongue and Ensalada Rusa and Sweetbread Croutons” and “Grill-Roasted Leg of Goat with White Truffle, Button Mushrooms and Fresh Ricotta Salad.”  The combination will satisfy both beginning home grillers and accomplished gourmet cooks alike. Or, when it’s simply too hot outside to cook, inspire readers to make reservations at Ox itself.

There is an entire chapter devoted to chilled seafood starters, and many of the recipes hail from South America, where fresh fish is frequently marinated with citrus juice and blended with fresh vegetables. The Dentons write that they like to start a grilled meal with food that is “light, cold and zesty” as a counterpoint to “all the heat involved in grilling.”  Visit Ox Restaurant at www.oxpdx.com.