Culture

Scenes from the 6th Annual SAVEUR Summer Cookout

We kicked off the summer season with over twenty of the country’s best chefs and bartenders

As warnings of evening thunderstorms for New York City circulated, we at SAVEUR came to a decision: Rain or shine, the 6th annual SAVEUR Summer Cookout would go on. Because brisket sliders and grilled fish ssam still taste good even when it’s a little rainy.

Luckily, only a light sprinkling made its way through the clouds, and so grills were fired up at the waterside Boat Basin Café. Sixteen chefs, as well as sponsors and bartenders, encircled a Build Your Own Cocktail bar, making it possible to eat Alex Guarnaschelli's romesco-topped eggplant, chase it with Christina Tosi's cake truffles, move on to Scott Conant's Calabrian wings—and then make another loop for seconds. As the night slowed down, we collectively migrated to the VIP Lounge, where we sipped on mai tais and drinks in coconuts from Chicago's Three Dots and a Dash, and witnessed one of the most Instagrammed events of the night: a spectacular red-orange sunset over the Hudson River.

Chef Andrew Carmellini of The Dutch served up Asian "White Boy" ribs, made of a St. Louis pork spare rib seasoned with a spicy dry rub for 24 hours, cooked in an oven, and coated in a tangy Asian-style glaze.
Barbecued Indian eggplant with grilled tomatoes, romesco, and basil hot off the grill at Alex Guarnaschelli's table for her restaurant Butter. Worried that their vegetarian dish wouldn't stand up to some of the meatier options at the cookout, the chefs at Butter did not let us down in the slightest.
Despite the light rain, the grills stayed ablaze, turning out great dishes like this merguez sausage from chef Michael Solomonov's of Zahav. He served it with a warm strawberry amba and shifka peppers.
As the rain cleared, guests (including Jonathan Jimenez and Gabe Soriano, pictured) moved back outdoors to enjoy the food and sip on mint-infused vodka lemonade and smoked watermelon vodka cocktails from Tito's vodka.
Every good cookout needs a pig on a spit. Chef Joel Hough of Il Buco roasted a pig for his porchetta panini, served on housemade ciabatta and paired with a stone fruit compote. The secret to its incredible flavor? Hough and his team season the pork a week in advance at the restaurant; for home cooks, he recommends that you buy high-quality pork from your local meat market and season it at least three days in advance.
In the center of all the action was a Build Your Own Cocktail bar, where guests were encouraged to experiment with several base spirits and mixers.
We wish every Tuesday meant drinking Mai Tais on the Hudson.
Conquering each table, one by one.
One of the biggest crowds of the night was not next to a table full of ribs, but overlooking this sunset over New Jersey, phones out and Instagram open.
We're so grateful to all the participating chefs and their teams—and our test kitchen team, too. Thanks for keeping us so well fed and being such excellent company.

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