Dining Al Fresco with Cheryl Stair

Ah, summer — a time when clambakes, picnics, and every type of barbecue imaginable become the norm. Al fresco dining always seems to lend new meaning to the word ambience. Whether it’s brunch upon the sands of Ditch Plains, lunch on the back of the family boat, or dinner around a bonfire at Georgica Pond, taking things outside during summer just feels right.

While going all out (pun definitely intended) can surely pay off, a few basic measures will go a long way when it comes to taking meals to the open air. Here are 3 easy steps to enjoying eats outside, courtesy of Art of Eating’s Cheryl Stair. Cheers!

  1. The fare should be simple. Swing by a local specialty store or cheese shop and snag some spicy hard salami, salty sheets of prosciutto, a loaf of crisp bread and a ball of fresh mozzarella for an impromptu picnic.

A good time if we’ve ever seen one. Photo courtesy of Bushwick Daily.

  1. Remember food safety when planning dinner al fresco. Reusable ice packs placed in a cooler are clutch for keeping foods cold and out of direct sunlight (particularly dairy, egg, and meat or fish).

The most essential picnic item of them all. Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

  1. Give your gear a once over before heading out. Make sure you have everything – silverware, matches to light a bonfire, and don’t forget the corkscrew (hey, we’ve all done it — done act like you’ve never macgyvered the cork out of a bottle before).

Create your own happy hour. Photo courtesy of The Jungalow.

Don’t overthink it – just grab some simple fare and hit the road in search of your own secret spot. Summer is all about those late afternoon snacks and stealing a few lazy moments off the clock. And let’s face it, food tastes better with the sun on your face, sea spray in your hair and the wind at your back.

Bonus: Wanna end with a sweet treat? Just stop at a farm stand and grab some fresh local strawberries.

Thanks for the tips Chef Cheryl!