The Daily Dish

Fabio Viviani's 5 Essential Summer Grilling Tips

The Top Chef favorite on cooking the perfect steak, experimenting with new flavors and more.

When it comes to Fabio Viviani's philosophy on cooking, we know a few things: he's bold, he's brash, he's big on beautiful cuts of meat and he's an even bigger fan of unforgettable flavor combinations that are inspired by his native Italy.

From his mouthwatering meat dishes on Top Chef to his forthcoming cookbook, Fabio's American Home Kitchen, he's mastered the art of planning cool dinner parties in the heat while putting a spin on tried-and-true American favorites.

With summer just around the corner, it's the ideal time to give some of Fabio's perfected entertaining tips a try. Here are some of Fabio's pointers for serving great meals this Memorial Day and beyond, and they come straight from the meat maestro's playbook.

Take your favorite American BBQ classics and inject them with some unexpected (and Italian!) flavor infusions.
Want to make a good burger? That's fantastic. You can add some smoked mozzarella to it instead of using American cheese. You can caramelize your onion with a touch of balsamic. You can add some fresh sliced Italian tomato to it. Instead of using lettuce, use red radicchio. It's delicious! That's what I'm talking about [with Fabio's American Home Kitchen]: familiar food and flavor profile from America tweaked with my very own taste.

"Fresh" and "cool" are your favorite words when it comes to planning a summer holiday or dinner party menu
A perfect meal for a summer dinner party: roasted asparagus, burrata, hazelnut vinaigrette with chopped hazelnuts and good balsamic vinegar, and a braised and then pressed chunk of cold pork belly. Perfect summer dish! There's nothing hot on the [table], which makes it perfect for summer. You get a lot of veggies: you get asparagus, you get nuts, you get the Gremolata, some pea tendrils. And there's pork belly, because year round, it's time for pork belly, but since it's summertime, it's not hot braised or fried. It's braised and cold and light. It's perfect.

A great grill tip? Leave your meat alone!
Get a piece of steak, season it perfectly and then leave it alone. Stop flipping it. Stop moving it. Stop moving it back and forth! Let it cook on one side, flip it, and then let it cook on the other side. Grill marks? Really, guys? What are we, French in the '80s? Who gives a s--t?!

No grill? No problem: get creative with a cast iron skillet and bring outdoor flavors into your kitchen at home
Cast iron [skillet], some butter—maybe some brown butter—and you pop [a steak] in the oven with a lid on it. It will create a cooking chamber that will remind you of a home version of a broiler. That could be a good alternative for outdoor grilling!

Which one of Fabio's grilling tips is your favorite? Do you have any summer entertaining advice to share? Let us know in the comments!

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