The barbecue has been the centrepiece of the Kiwi summer routine for decades – and for good reason. Every country has their own version of barbecue, where smoke and fire are the transformative elements and, traditionally at least, these cooking methods have been accompanied by a strong social element. There’s something about the sound and smell of something cooking over fire that draws people in.
I love the lead up to Christmas and summer. As the weather improves and the days lengthen, everything seems somehow easier and more festive. I often like to gather 10-12 people together for relaxed drinks followed by a help-yourself dinner like this one.
At the heart of why we invite people to our house for food is that we want to spend some time and share food with them. The most essential ingredient for a meal with friends is not, paradoxically, the food, nor the perfect house to host in, but the sentiment that you convey to guests when you open your home and carve out some time to share with them.