How To Host A Gourmet Barbecue

How To Host A Gourmet Barbecue

Ditch the burgers, sausages and buns. A gourmet barbecue requires a bit more originality and planning, but is well worth the effort.


Think global
There are many countries where barbecued food is a staple, so think outside the box. Middle Eastern kofta and skewers with pitta bread and meze, Indian tandoori with rice, raita and nan bread, marinated meats and ribs from Korea all make a delicious alternative to slabs of steak or burgers.

Choose a theme
Not only does it make it easier to plan, it’s also way more fun if your barbecue has a motif. Caribbean, Moroccan, Hawaiian or By The Sea are always great themes and will dictate your music, décor, drink, dress code and food choices.

Prettify your outdoor space
Dedicate an area to rain cover – it pays to be realistic about the weather! – by rigging up an awning or gazebo, or even a large tent. String outdoor fairy lights everywhere and add throws, cushions and lanterns according to your chosen theme. Don’t forget tablecloths and some clever up-lighting or tea lights in mason jars to light the way round your garden.

Add a fire pit
People love to congregate around naked flames whatever the time of year – especially when it gets chilly towards the end of the day. A fire pit adds the wow factor to your back garden, and it’s also handy for cooking a few extra skewers. You can make one easily or buy a ready-made portable one.

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Salads and sides
Dedicate a whole table to some classy salads and side dishes to serve alongside your barbecue. Serve them in large wooden or colorful bowls.

Simplify dessert
The practicalities of serving the hordes means that simple and easy to eat is the winning combination for dessert. Bake trays of brownies that guests can grab and eat as they are or with the addition of self-serve nuts and cream. Or pile a mountain of sugared churros next to a bowl of chocolate sauce for dipping. Then once it’s time to clean up, let Dawn do the hard work. There is no more powerful washing-up liquid to deal with tough grease stains and leave your plates sparkling clean.

Keep it classy
Fill some clean bins with ice to chill the drinks you’re serving. Ask guests to bring some of their own so you’re guaranteed not to run out. And make some self-serve fruit punch for the table.

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