Savor the warm weather and summer celebrations—Father's Day, graduation parties, and wedding anniversaries—with flavorful, globally inspired outdoor barbecues. Tap into your grill's full culinary potential for chic, yet casual events that everyone will enjoy.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015
Photo courtesy Baume & Mercier

Turn your grill area into a versatile outdoor kitchen, from upgraded burgers and franks to Mediterranean-style barbecues. Keep the seating plan simple—picnic tables or small tables and chairs—where friends and family can gather to catch up, reminisce, and snack on dishes hot off the grill, or take a break with chilled drinks after playing lawn sports.


Give dad a break from manning the grill on Father's Day and show him you've learned a thing or two about BBQing from him. For a backyard spin on classic surf-and-turf, grill steaks with savory shrimp-and-vegetable skewers. Show your mastery for charring by letting the steaks become room temperature before they hit the heat. Prepare a few fresh salads beforehand, like a green and yellow bean salad with ricotta salata, and grill some asparagus and endive as smoky side dishes. For drinks, have a selection of chilled whites, rosés, and a few summery reds, like berry-driven zinfandels. In the yard, set up a few lawn games, like bocce, horseshoes, and croquet. Before serving dessert, give dad a special tribute with a short speech about how much he means to you. A watch, like the modern Clifton or the sporty Capeland from Baume & Mercier, is the perfect gift to celebrate being a father. Infused with contemporary elements, yet still iconic, these are great picks for a man who doesn't own dad jeans.


Graduating from college is a major achievement and the first step toward attaining future career goals and dream jobs. Give your grad a watch that will remind him or her of all their hard work—final exams, thesis papers, presentations—and inspire them to always look forward—first business cards, promotions, new jobs. For her, a watch from Baume & Mercier's Linea Collection, with an interchangeable double-wrap strap will get her classic style noticed while adding a dash of individuality. For him, a watch from Baume & Mercier's Classima collection shows ambition and C-level potential for any recent grad. For a memorable graduation day celebration, decorate with whimsical picnic elements, like gingham napkins and wicker baskets filled with flowers. Grill up burgers and hotdogs paired with regional craft beers. Instead of store-bought franks, opt for ones from your local butcher and get creative with your condiments, like bahn mi-inspired spicy mayo. For a crowd-pleasing twist on corn on the cob, blister corn, then rub it with a lime wedge and sprinkle it with chili powder, salt, and Cotija cheese.


Channel romance and celebrate a special wedding anniversary with a late-afternoon outdoor party that lingers well past twilight. String up small lights and place lanterns and candles around the yard, along with freshly cut fragrant flowers and a few potted plants of citronella and marigolds to keep the mosquitos away. For the barbecue, take inspiration from Mediterranean grill specialties, like whole fish easily prepared using a basket, chicken pieces, and lamb chops—that all pair fantastically with old-world bottles of wine and creative, citrusy cocktails. Offer a selection of fresh salads, like an Israeli couscous and tomato salad with arugula pesto, a beet salad with pecorino, and a refreshing Greek salad. Celebrate the anniversary by giving the gift of his-and-her watches, a symbolic token capturing a couple's harmonious past, present, and future together. The Hampton collection from Baume & Mercier represents a marriage of Art Deco design and elegant details ideal for the occasion.