Letter from the Editor: How We Summer
Spend enough time around your grill, and you’ll know right away that Maui chef Sheldon Simeon’s cooking is something special. At his new restaurant, Lineage, the Top Chef alum grills chicken wings to perfect crispness to serve with seared pineapple slices, bastes steak skewers in a next-level mop sauce made extra-clingy with pulverized toasted barley, and slathers charred corn in a tangy calamansi sauce—each dish a carefully calibrated rhythm of vibrant flavors.
And wow, do they turn heads. Simeon’s recipes received serious raves from our veteran test kitchen crew and editors alike. (We went back for seconds and thirds of the Huli Huli Chicken Wings on the cover). As Martha Cheng reports this month in “Aloha, Summer,” those big-hearted, full-flavored recipes draw inspiration from luaus, the family gatherings that are a part of Hawaii’s social fabric, where the food is unfussy and unfailingly generous.
This issue is all about that luxuriate-in-the-backyard-under-the-stars, ice-down- the-rosé, eat-with-your-hands way of gathering we’ve all earned as the final school bells ring and the promise of summer unspools ahead. We’re all feeling it. Back on the mainland, grilling pro Paula Disbrowe, one of our F&W Cooks contributors, dusts o old-school Santa Maria barbecue methods from Santa Barbara County, California, to up your chicken and tri-tip game. Our test kitchen unlocks new ways of adding freshness and savor to all kinds of dishes with summer herbs. And Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle shares his favorite newfangled gins for icy summer cocktails and picks the best wines for backyard burgers (I’ll take a Malbec or Aglianico, slightly chilled, to go with my smash-burger, thanks).
That’s how we summer. How do you? We invite you to share your celebrations on social using the hashtag #HowISummer, launched by Food & Wine in 2014. As of press time, nearly 500,000 of you have used the tag on Instagram to share your favorite warm-weather moments. We can’t wait to see yours.