“Everyone is drawn to fire,” says Tim Byres, the executive chef and partner of Smoke in Plano, Texas. “Everyone has memories of fire, so there’s a nostalgia element to it.”

There’s always been fire in pizza and barbecue restaurants, but now more chefs realize the value in this most elemental of cooking methods and see it in experimental as well as tried-and-true ways. “In the last two to three years, we’ve seen an emergence of people focusing on food sourcing,” says Steve Starr, owner of Starr Design in Charlotte, N.C. “What we’re seeing now is the next step in sophistication in how food is produced, and fire becomes a critical element in that, especially when there’s an authenticity to it.”

The original content of this post was featured on restaurant development + design and written by Amanda Baltazar, Contributing Editor. Read the full restaurant development + design article here.