Over the past week the streets of London have taken on a new energy. The sun is shining, legs are bare and shades settle gently on the end of sunburned noses. Oh, and that long-forgotten smell of charred grills has started to waft through the smoggy air. For as soon as the summer dares to approach, there’s nothing we love more than grabbing some charcoal and setting fire to food left, right and centre. But barbecued food doesn’t have to mean burnt burgers and odours of overdone onions. Like any other dish it can be Michelin-starred if you just do it right. So we asked superstar chef Steve Smith of Bohemia, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the Channel Islands, to give us the inside info on how to prepare a first class barbecue this summer. Here’s what he said…
It may seem obvious but if you want to avoid any disasters then you need to make sure the BBQ is lit properly and is not in the proximity of anything that is potentially flammable!
Heat the Meat
Make sure that any poultry or pork items are thoroughly cooked to avoid food poisoning.
To know if you have the right temperature to cook with you just need to wait for the flames to die down, and check the colour of the coals. They should glow red underneath and be white on the top or you can buy BBQ thermometers from any good BBQ retailer.
Generally any type of fish, lamb or beef are the safest items to cook for those concerned about becoming ill at a BBQ, as they are low risk meats. You can cook them rare, medium, well done or as you would normally. Also you should always use separate utensils for cooking and serving.
Don’t Take Risks
Any pork and chicken items are the highest risk food generally cooked on the BBQ and you need to check that they are thoroughly cooked. Also make sure they are consumed immediately. If you leave them outside on a nice day for more than 30 minutes you are running a risk of giving someone food poisoning! Also try not to serve any form of rice salad, as it will likely spend the entire day sat out in warm conditions.
Impress Your Guests
BBQs are not just about meat, any type of vegetable kebabs are great! Be bold and use vegetables such as onions, peppers, aubergines, and kholarbi.
Don’t Leave Leftovers
Many people think that leftovers can be used the following day. This is generally a no no. Cook only what you need for the barbecue or you will just have to eat it all!
Bohemia is the only restaurant in the Channel Islands to be listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants and also recently received the highest score in the Channel Islands in the Good Food Guide 2016. For reservations call 01534 880 588 or visit www.bohemiajersey.com