Summer is just around the corner, which means that people gravitate out of doors and into the streets to enjoy parks, parties and festivals. Smart chefs can take advantage of these popular events with creative dishes that match the fun and casual vibe of the season.
Proper planning is key – summer is not straight-laced. If you take aim at outdoor dining or pop-up markets, devise a menu that riffs on the casual mood that people feel at summer festivals. Taste, as usual, comes first. After that, remember that people want to eat food that’s refreshing when it’s hot and definitely don’t want to make a mess.
Here are six ideas to get your outdoor party menu planning started.
Say summer and thoughts of barbecue are likely to come to mind. Grilling food is straightforward and doesn’t require high-level expertise. You can use a variety of meats, such as beef or pork, and cater to vegetarians by offering grilled vegetables, too.
Make your skewers more savory with a specialty marinade like Knorr Rock Sugar Honey Sauce, which can also be used as a glaze for chicken kebab or pineapple skewers.
People at parties or pop-ups will likely be standing and walking, roaming and dancing. Make it easier for revellers to fill their stomachs with food that doesn’t need a knife, fork or spoon.
Some options are savoury canapes and quiches with crab, shrimp, or salmon. Or offer sweet crepes, strawberry cheesecake bites, tiny donuts with sugar frosting or assorted fruits on a cocktail stick to give revellers a much-needed energy boost.
You can never go wrong with chips and dips at an outdoor party, as in the classic combo of nachos and salsa. Also try assorted vegetable sticks that can be dunked in salad dressing or Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise.
Take things a step further with exciting flavour combinations, like salted chips and chocolate. You can offer something new to the customers and leave a lasting impression.
Salads are light meals that are nourishing and refreshing when the weather is hot. There are tossed tossed Caesar’s salads, mixed greens with a light balsamic vinegar or vinaigrette – or you can try a watermelon-based version of the Mediterranean salad.
Besides food that can be grabbed quickly from your stall, you can also serve dishes that can be considered meals, although not as heavy as what you’d have in a restaurant. Sandwiches are a good bet – and can be quickly assembled by your kitchen team. Use white or wheat bread and fill with ham, cheese or egg. Serve with a side of light and creamy macaroni salad using Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise.
Revellers will likely be thirsty and hungry, so plan to offer an assortment of refreshing beverages. Citrus flavors add a punch, which is why ice-cold lemonade is always popular, but don’t forget about the other fruits in the Philippines that are perfect for fruit shakes and slushies.
When it comes to summer fun, keep your food choices simple and easy. Give partygoers a treat with your menu offerings and make an excellent impression with the food you’re going to serve.