Flame on

Summer BBQ season has arrived—and keeping it stress-free and enjoyable for the host is key. Entertaining expert, Judy Reeves, owner of Edge Catering suggests some simple tips to keep it that way.

1. Timing is everything

Select a date when you know your schedule will be free of any major commitments so you can fully focus on your guests. Then send invitations well in advance to ensure your guests can mark their calendars. While you're at it, gather all dietary restrictions so there are no surprises on the day of and you can plan an interesting but reflective menu accommodating the entire group.

2. Spice it up

Summertime brings up nostalgic food memories, so make sure to include some of your favourite dishes. But if you're looking for some new ideas, Edge Catering's executive chef Jasmin Porcic suggests a flavourful spice rub on your meats, and pre-marinating them with olive oil and fresh herbs to lock in moisture. Partially cooking meat in the oven and finishing it on the grill is a winning strategy, along with grilling fresh-picked seasonal vegetables, served on a decorative platter. Salads and grazing platters are great selections you can prepare in advance. And in the sweltering temperatures, make sure your food is kept chilled until ready to enjoy. For dessert, plan something light but summery that is reminiscent of the seasonlemon tarts or a fruit pie, or even fresh berries with a refreshing gelato.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Keeping you and your guests hydrated with non-alcoholic selections, is paramount on the hot days especially. Rather than sugary sodas, offer a refreshing beverage dispenser of your favourite version of iced teas or lemonades, made prettier with some cut citrus. Fruit-infused water is a perfect choice to offer in any case. Always ensure that you are balancing your alcoholic offerings with these non-alcoholic selections.

4. Accommodate and entertain

Be sure to provide ample seating in the shade for your guests on those sunny days. And if it starts raining unexpectedly, you can always move things indoors. Regardless of the location of your table, bring in the summer feel with some fun touches, such as bright linens and napkins, playful flatware and colourful florals freshly picked from your garden.

If there are children attending, having fun snacks and kid-friendly food ready at any given time will keep the young ones (and adults) happy. Also, don't forget about the lawn games to keep them occupied as well.

5. Hire help

If this all seems like too much work or you want to fully enjoy the day with your guests, connect with the events team at Edge Catering and check out the summer BBQ menu for incredible food and a memorable experience.