Temperatures are on the rise and we are now thinking Barbeque!

The most important thing to remember if you plan a dinner party, lunch party or BBQ, the key is always in the preparation. Then the host and guests can relax and enjoy the food that has been prepared.

I know from my own experience of catering for a large number of people, I would begin at least 3 days before the event. Make a menu of what you plan to give your guests, do the shopping with a list of all your requirements. You can leave the meat and fresh vegetables till the day before so that you will keep your fridge free of too much food.

The deserts are very time consuming and a lot of the work can be done in advance and placed in the fridge. You should choose deserts that you know will keep for a couple of days. It is important because decorating deserts and whipping cream is stressful and time consuming on the day. Mind you I tend to eat the main meal and maybe an hour later serve the desert. I think people have more appreciation for it later than straight after the main meal.

Sometimes it takes away from the lovely food that you have painstakingly prepared. It is essential but I really think it can be served at a later time.

Choosing good quality meat is very important to get good results. If at all possible try and purchase from your local craft butcher.   At Hugh Maguire’s we pride ourselves on two main planks, trust and providence.

It is very easy nowadays to be swayed by prices and special offers, TV ads, fancy brochure displays, 3 for the price of 2 and so on. If you think it is too good to be true it probably is too good to be true.

A discerning customer can read between the lines what is going on in the corporate world of retail. They are pushing small, genuine traders out of business. These small traders are not profit driven like the big supermarkets. Yes we are in business to make a living not a killing. I feel happy when my customers come back and compliment how good that steak was or that Sunday roast was. Their feedback is so important and also gives me the confidence to keep going in the face of fierce competition.

Caroline Maguire


How to marinate Steak?
  • Sprinkle each steak with salt, pepper, garlic powder.
  • Rub seasoning onto steaks.
  • Whisk olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic in a bowl.
  • Pour marinade over the steaks and leave to stand for 15/20 minutes or over- night if time allows.

How to marinate Chicken?

  • Pour olive oil into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.
  • Mix together salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper and add to olive oil. Add garlic, onions, and parsley
  • Pour marinade over the chicken in the zip top bag
  • Place the bag flat on a small, rimmed kitchen sheet pan and place into the refrigerator.
  • Leave overnight but if you cannot afford that time leave for a couple of hours.
  • When ready to cook, brush BBQ with oil and cook chicken until no longer pink inside.