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How To Plan A Delicious Summer BBQ

How To Plan A Delicious Summer BBQ

Summertime calls for outdoor patios, BBQ’s, and festive gatherings. And there’s no better time to get your grill ready than over July 4th weekend, where friends and family come together to celebrate independence, a few days off from work (always a bonus), and seasonal, summer bites in the warm, beautiful weather.

When planning a summer BBQ party, you have to think of the essentials—and in the Albert’s Executive Chef, Brandon Brumback’s case, those include [lots of] cold beer, good company, and delicious food, he says.

Chef Brumback’s inspiration and culinary style come from years of experience within some of Chicago’s elite kitchens, such as Blackbird, Grace, two Michelin-starred Acadia, Danny Meyer’s GreenRiver, and Chef Grant Achatz’s Roister. Infusing art and science, he crafts elevated dishes, with a focus on artistic plating, seasonal ingredients, and unique experiences.

What’s more, he shares his favorite summer BBQ recipe, a black bean dish that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, a few of his top secrets for making the holiday extra special.

Baked Black-Eyed Peas Summer BBQ

Ingredient Measurement
Black-eyed Peas, Soaked overnight 1.5 pounds
Bacon, Applewood Smoked 1 cup, large diced
Vidalia Onion 2 cups, diced
Turnip, Purple Top 1 cup, diced
Chicken Stock 3 cups
BBQ Sauce (Kansas City Style) 3 cups
Golden Raisins ½ cup
Red Plum 2 each, whole
Pickles, Sweet ½ cup, finely diced
Sour Mash Whisky 1 cup
Whole Grain Mustard 1 tablespoon
Worcestershire Sauce 1 tablespoon
Honey 1 tablespoon
Jalapeno Powder 1 tablespoon
Sumac Powder 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper 1 teaspoon
Bay Leaf, Fresh 6 each
Salt To taste
White Vinegar To taste
Butter To taste
Chives 1 cup, sliced
Sea Salt To taste


Here’s how to prepare them:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. In a wide, high-sided cast iron Dutch oven, begin to render the bacon slowly.
  3. Add the onion, and let it begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the turnip and cook until translucent, roughly 7-8 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and add the whisky. Cook off alcohol.
  6. Add the Black-eyed peas and golden raisins. Cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add chicken stock, BBQ sauce and spices. Cook until liquid comes to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer while adding the remaining ingredients, including the the whole plums.
  9. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 2 ½ – 3 hours, until most of the liquid is cooked down to a sauce, and the plums have popped.
  10. Remove the core of the plum and mix everything together.
  11. Turn on the oven broiler.
  12. Season with salt and vinegar, as needed.
  13. Before serving, add a small amount of butter for richness and flavor.
  14. Place under broiler until top is caramelized.
  15. Garnish with chives and course sea salt.

And, Chef Brumback recommends pairing this dish with a few other summery staples, such as deviled eggs, potato salad, shrimp cocktails with horseradish and lemon as a garnish, and a cucumber, red onion marinade salad.

All can vary in spice, herbs, and other seasonings to adhere to any palate. And, they’re all pretty light—so you won’t end up feeling weighed down in the heat.

Enjoy more of Chef Brandon Brumback’s food, and visit us by booking a reservation.

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