THE CORNISH BEACH BARBECUERS
Rick and Katie Toogood, owners of critics-favourite Prawn on the Lawn in Islington & Padstow reveal how to create alternative BBQ delights.
Best spot for al fresco dining: “We love a barbecue at Tregirls beach. It’s walking distance from Padstow and on a sunny day the sand is so white it feels like you’re in the Caribbean.”
Tips to wow guests: “Mackerel barbecued whole in foil, rubbed in North African spices is a quick and easy winner. Also try scallops cooked on the barbecue in their shells - served with soy, sesame, garlic and ginger. Try wrapping lobster in seaweed. Cook over the coals with harissa butter - the seaweed effectively steams the lobster then it can be split open and topped with the butter. “
THE GARDEN PARTY EXPERT
Entrepreneur Alex Head is founder and chef of Social Pantry catering company.
Best spot for al fresco dining: “A gorgeous space at Pitzhanger Manor where we’ve hosted open-air dinners. Think 1920’s style hedonism with fairy light canopies, cocktails and a sharing style dinner.”
Tips to wow guests: “I love the versatility of roasting a chicken, organic and corn fed is best (not only is it more ethical and sustainable, but it’ll taste SO much better). Stuff with a whole lemon, and marinade with lemon juice, seasonal herbs like thyme, rosemary and olive oil.”
GO MEXICAN FOR A VIBRANT FIX
Thomasina Miers chef and co-founder of Wahaca reveals what’s on her trellis table.
Best spot for al fresco dining: “When I was filming ‘A Cook’s Tour of Spain’ for Channel 4, I went Percebes fishing (percebes are a rare delicacy) with a bunch of Spanish women in their 50s and 60s, who were fantastic. That evening Guy Grieve and I built a fire on the rocks off the stunning Galician coastline. We simmered the fish in a cauldron of seawater, while a bottle of Albariño chilled in a nearby rock-pool. We ate like kings.”
Tips to wow guests: “Gather seasonal vegetables and grill them. Then forage for herbs and either bash them together and create a makeshift salsa verde in a pestle and mortar. I’ve just created a wonderful roast tomato salsa, with fresh chilies and lime for Wahaca so I’d also suggest making a charred salsa, Mexican style, in a pan on the fire with tomatoes, garlic and chillies.”
And don’t forget, like most things, it’s the little extras that count…
- The camping stalwart ALWAYS bring fairy lights (ideally solar powered), imparting a rustic but convivial ambience in the evening
- Cut sweetpeas or wildflowers just before fully open and pop in a jar for the table.
- Prep your icebox. Line your box with blocks of ice and cool your drinks first, or invest in an electric cool box.
- Don’t forget the condiments. Michelin chef Tom Kerridge has a new range of handmade ketchups (from £4.75, buy here) that make the perfect accompaniment to an outdoor feast. Flavours include Virgin Mary, Chipotle Barbecue, Black Garlic, Fruity Brown and Gherkin.
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.