June Gloom is long gone, the sun is out and our thoughts are naturally beginning to turn to eating. Make your summer one for the books by surrounding yourself with good food and your favorite people.
Meet Eat.Drink.Sleep. Executive Corporate Chef, Dave Warner as he dives into all the tips and tricks to impressing friends and family at your next summer BBQ. Warner recommends not creating a menu before you go out shopping. Instead, hit your local farmers markets and butcher shops to see what is in season and available. Grab some fresh summer salad ingredients that you can never go wrong with like peaches, watermelon and feta cheese topped with a light vinaigrette. Warner stressed the importance of always marinating your meat and that Trader Joe’s has some great, affordable options. As far as taking your dishes to the next level, Warner says it’s quite simple - use fresh herbs and sliced lemons to garnish the plate and add pops of color. It’s fast, easy and elevates the presentation of the meal.
Warner said that he loves having the food prepared family style so that everyone can dig in and serve themselves. He generally pairs the meal with a pitcher of sangria made with an oversized bottle of cheap wine and fresh fruit and throws back a few Session IPA’s while grilling.
Warner’s love for food sparked from simply needing to find a job. He accepted an opportunity thinking it would just be a summer job, but it ended up being an eye opening, lifestyle change. Warner expressed how much he enjoys working with his hands and said it was a satisfying turning point for him when plates started coming back clean, he thought “Wow, I must be doing something right.”
“Now I’m a Dad, I’m married, and my days are completely prioritized around them.” But what’s fun about that, Warner explained, is “they’re basically my guinea pigs when it comes to food. My family let’s me know what they like and dislike.” When asking what Warner’s go-to easy, summer, kid-loving meal was, he laughed and stated that he liked making them loads of fresh, seasonal veggies and chicken, but then mentioned that they generally fight about them finishing their meals and the kids end up winning and eating PB&J sandwiches.”
So, get creative! Argue with the kids to try new things, play with spices, have fun and keep your menu simple so that the main ingredients can truly shine through. Soak in the sun and invite your whole crew over because the next BBQ is happening at your place.