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Party in Five: Nautical Backyard BBQ


We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how, with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements), you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

Typical backyard barbecues are often simple, undecorated affairs. But when you’re going to the effort of planning a menu, a bar and maybe an array of games for your party guests, why not take the time to add some decorative touches that’ll make it feel like a themed event? No imagery is quite as evocative of summertime as nautical elements like ropes, seashells, sand, and blue and white colors. So whether you’re seaside, lounging by a lake or pool, at the park or in your own backyard, you can transform your party space into a beach-inspired retreat. The wistful touches and low-key hands-on menu will transport guests to an instant vacation.

To host this nautical backyard barbecue, you’ll need five essential ingredients:
• a build-your-own burger bar
• classic blue-and-white pinwheels
• seashells (authentic or from a party store)
• paper cones for popcorn (download the template here)
• watermelon wedges

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Meaty Madness: Thrillist Delivers With BBQ & The Blues Event

Smoked, roasted, braised, or steamed — no matter how it was served, the vendors at Thrillist’s New York City Wine & Food Festival’s BBQ & The Blues event delivered down-home meaty goodness in its finest form.

Hosted by Rocco DiSpirito at the Hudson Terrace, the sold-out affair on Oct. 12th was classy, cool and packed with eager party-goers energized by the ‘30s-style street jazz of Brooklyn’s Baby Soda band, an open bar and mounds of gorgeous meat for the taking.

In addition to a few seafood-themed options and delectable mini brownies from Fat Witch Bakery, the focus was singular: meat. From Wildwood’s Big Lou Elrose serving up colossal 2-lb. ribs to the best damn chicken wing I’ve ever tasted from Virgil’s, the event made Manhattan’s BBQ scene proud. And most importantly, it helped raise $50,000 for the festival’s benefactors, the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative.

Some highlights from the night:

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Yellow Mustard BBQ Sauce, and Changing My Mind About Mustard

South Carolina Style BBQ

Vincent Camillo’s South Carolina Style BBQ Sauce

Not long after I first got married, my new husband returned from his inaugural grocery duties with a dinosaur-size bottle of yellow mustard.

“Yellow mustard?” I stammered. What in the world would I ever do with it all? It was exactly the kind of condiment that I thought had no place in my kitchen. If food snobbery is a disease, I’m as afflicted as anyone. I was a Dijon girl all the way. Whole grain. Or spicy brown. Artisan. Local if possible. Nothing that came in a gigantic squeeze bottle. But to humor him, I made a batch of homemade German pretzels, which was good for about a quarter cup of consumption. Flash forward three years, and that mustard would still be hanging around the back shelf waiting for its next booking.

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Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue

Photo: Roberto Ferdman

How can you make eating barbecue even better? Add unlimited beer and bourbon tastings, of course. At the Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Festival that kicked off in New York City this past weekend, revelers ate their way through pulled pork sandwiches and classic collard greens while sucking down craft brews and whiskeys. New York City was just the first of an eight-stop tour that might be coming soon to a city near you. Check out what we chowed down on, below.

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