A LARGE PART OF WESTERN AND SOUTHWESTERN COOKING is simply attitude: relaxed, having fun. That’s what Robert McGrath told me when we were cooking some enormous, “in-your-face” rib-eye steaks over an outdoor fire. For me, as for Robert, cooking outdoors is what Southwest cooking is all about–along with, McGrath added, the romance of trips down a river, building a fire, taking in the stars, and enjoying a great bottle of red wine. Robert is the kind of chef who knows that the further removed a cook or the food is from the flavors and appeal of those outdoor perfect moments, the less interesting the restaurant will be. He believes that there is no substitute for real flavors: He—and I—would rather eat one of those big, well-marbled rib-eyes, and for the rest of the month eat fish and vegetables, than settle for a lean steak of lesser quality just over worry about fat.