Cookout tips from Chef Martin Lopez

by: Chef Martin Lopez

We are about to officially roll into peak cookout season, with two big backyard holidays on the horizon. Memorial Day this weekend, and the Fourth of July isn’t far behind. These are always among the most popular occasions for cookouts on the calendar, but why is all the focus on just two days? When you have a cookout, you can make almost any other day feel like a holiday — and without all the stress or packed grocery stores.

I like to do my cookouts Mexican inspired, Carne Asada, Chorizo, Longaniza, a lot of fresh avocados , vegetables and salsas.

You will be surprised how easy and fun it is to step it up to have an amazing cook out!

Cookouts are inherently festive no matter when you have them, a chance to eat casually without the formality of a sit-down, or even indoor, party. Everyone pitches in, and if done right, the burden never falls on one person.

One way to ensure the we’re-all-in-this-together spirit is to host a cookout at a public park. When no one is the official host (you may want to designate one person as the organizer, however), it encourages guests to pitch in on the food — potluck! — and cleanup. Especially when you live in an urban area, parks give anyone the opportunity to throw a party.

So for this Memorial Holiday Weekend and many more to come. Have fun, get out and enjoy the summer and food!

Happy Cooking my Florida Friends!