About a month ago, four women gathered in a backyard in Oak Cliff. There was six feet between them—and a staggering amount of meat. This contingent was charged with executing the magazine’s July summer grilling package, which is online today. Just in time for the long weekend.
In a couple of hours, we’d shot more photos of meat on marble slabs than should ever be published. Then came the coal-bed: photo shoot turned feast.
We in Texas love summer grilling. July’s heat comes and we rekindle the rituals that hinge on ember and smoke. We conjure the smell of charcoal, the sizzle of steak, the sight of deep char.
As we gear up to celebrate a holiday predicated on a declaration of independence—even in the midst of confinement, even in the midst of protest—backyards remain, more than ever, oases.
Yes, we’ll grill burgers. But there’s no way it stops there. We wanted to take you into backyards, from here and elsewhere. So we talked with chefs Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman, Junior Borges, Donny Sirisavath, and John Tesar about grilling memories from Dallas, Brazil, Laos, San Antonio, and Long Island. We added the smoke of their childhood fires to our own. We enriched our repertoires with their recipes.
And then we tonged up and ended up in Kathy Wise’s backyard in Oak Cliff. Three girls on a shoot; four girls on the grill package. (It turns out, you can put away a lot of meat, even socially distanced.)
The days have come for backyard cookouts. So, string up your lights. Summon those in your bubble. Set up your kettle grill, ceramic egg, brick-lined fire pit, skewer-criss-crossed yakitori grill, or whatever you have available. It’s that time. Let’s the make the most of it while we can.