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Top chefs’ BBQ tips for raising your stakes this summer


With summer on the horizon, it’s time to fire up those BBQs. Up your grill game by taking on board these BBQ tips by top chefs from some of the UK’s best rated restaurants. And it’s not all about meat either as vegetables find their way to more and more BBQ menus…

Get your utentials ready for the BBQ season

Benjamin Ferra Y Castell, Head Chef at Pavyllon London

“To keep your tools in top condition once you’re done grilling, soak them for 15 minutes in Coca-Cola and then another 15 minutes in ketchup – after a quick rinse they will be shiny as new!”

Sofian Msetfi, Executive Chef at Michelin-starred Ormer Mayfair by Sofian

“Achieve the perfect smoked flavour by adding wood to your BBQ; but be careful not to overdo it, as you don’t want an acrid taste. Try adding wood slowly to let the flavour build gradually. Be sure to add plenty of seasoning throughout the cooking process – barbecued meat, fish and veg will stand up to any combination so don’t be afraid to experiment.”

Eran Tibi, Executive Chef at Bala Baya & Kapara

“Whether it’s a traditional charcoal grill, gas grill, or even a smoker you’re using, learn how to control the heat and smoke for optimal flavour. Remember, low and slow cooking when barbecuing allows flavours to develop and meat to become tender, so learning how to handle the heat is a key skill.”

Gopi Chandran, Executive Chef at Sopwell House
“Always probe the meat to check it has cooked to avoid food poisoning by under-cooking and cross contamination. And work cleanly – have enough work surface to prepare food; keep cooked and raw meats separate.”

Top chefs’ BBQ tips for meat and fish

Paul Greening, Executive Chef at UBA

“I like using secondary cuts of meat, like wagyu feather blade or spatchcock chicken, as I find them easier and quicker to cook. When basting your meat on the BBQ, use an atomiser sprayer filled with your marinade of choice instead of a spoon to ensure maximum flavour.”

Jack Stein, Chef Director at Rick Stein Restaurants

“Fish on a BBQ is fantastic – marinade and cook in tin foil to stop the skin sticking to the grill and to retain delicious flavour. Don’t forget vegetables either – veggies like lettuce and hispi cabbage taste great grilled on a BBQ to bring out smoky, charred flavours.”

Robert Manea, Executive Chef at Bōkan

“I tend to steer away from adding herbs and spices when seasoning meat; a generous pinch of salt and pepper is all you need! This minimalist approach enhances the natural flavours of the meat, providing an authentic BBQ experience.

Vivek Singh, Executive Chef and CEO of Cinnamon Collection

‘’To make the most of your meat on the BBQ and enhance its flavours, the key is to marinade for as long as possible. For those without time, the second-best tip is catching the juices and using them to baste the meat. Using leftover marinade can create more flavour and really elevates your barbecued meats.’’

The unsung heros on the BBQ are vegetables

Kerth Gumbs, Head Chef at Fenchurch Restaurant

“A seriously delicious side dish is grilled corn salad. Grill the corn on the BBQ until blistered, remove it and cover with foil to cool down. Once cool, use a knife to remove the kernels and place them in a bowl with a mix of freshly chopped herbs like mint, coriander, parsley, chopped breakfast radish and pomegranate seeds.”

Theo Randall, Chef Patron at Theo Randall at the Intercontinental 

“BBQs are brilliant for grilling vegetables – get the vegetable skin charred, peel this off and marinade the smokey vegetable that remains for a delicious BBQ addition. My favourites are aubergines, red and yellow peppers and leeks – all taste delicious dressed simply in olive oil, lemon juice, honey, chopped basil and mint.”

Chris Knights, Director of Food at Young’s Pubs

“The best ingredients are the underutilised – vegetables! BBQ quarters of little gem lettuce and spring onion and add to chicken thighs with a Caesar dressing and shavings of parmesan.”


Check out some of our restaurant reviews to get inspired when you are booking lunches and dinners for your execs, clients and teams.