Close up shot on table decorations for a special outdoor dinner
Food and drink

Six summer dining ideas from our London chef

August 20, 2020

For the unique chance to learn expert tips from a master chef here’s advice from Mario Perera, Executive Chef at The Dorchester, on serving tempting dishes for friends and family this summer.

Go seasonal

When it comes to choosing what to serve your guests always go for quality, seasonal and colourful ingredients. Your local farmers’ market, butcher and fishmonger can also act as a great source of inspiration and recipe ideas.

Savour smoky flavours

If you’re having a meaty barbecue, add a few springs of rosemary or thyme to the charcoal to give another level of flavour, not to mention some wonderful aromas whilst you’re cooking. If you’re barbecuing fish, try adding fennel seeds or cinnamon sticks instead.

Mario Perera Executive Chef
Food being grilled on a BBQ
Image courtesy of The Beverly Hills Hotel

Make a marinade

My favourite cut of meat to barbecue is a well-aged côte de boeuf. Marinate it for a few hours with smoked salt, crushed black pepper, rosemary, chopped garlic and good olive oil to create something special, and always allow the meat to rest after cooking to ensure it’s really tender.

Choose a fish dish

Whole sea bass seasoned with turmeric, sliced lemon, thyme, Himalayan salt, crushed fennel seeds and extra virgin olive oil is another great barbecue dish. Simply cover with the seasoning and wrap in a fresh banana leaf followed by kitchen foil and cook on the barbecue. I promise you’ll be delighted with the result when you unwrap it.

Brighten their day

Add colour to your table by oven roasting a selection of chopped root vegetables, seasoned with sea salt, Espelette pepper, crushed garlic, olive oil and aged-balsamic. Serve cold with a sprinkling of feta and a few chopped pickled walnuts.

Mine’s a lemonade

A must-have for any summer party is homemade fresh lemonade. I like to make mine with Meyer lemons, Manuka honey and some fresh strawberries and mint. There really is nothing better on a hot day – delicious!

Fresh lemonade with mint

For more great dining experiences, book a table at one of our much-loved restaurants at The Dorchester.

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