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“There’s a freedom to eating outside”

Last month Gill Meller shared his love of the great outdoors. This glorious June, in his second stint as our food writer in residence, the author and River Cottage cookery teacher has created a sublime three-course feast designed to be carried outside at the first glimpse of sunshine. Gather your friends – an afternoon of joy is in store

Food writer in residence PART 2

“Eating outside is a little like putting together a recipe: you need the right ingredients – sunshine, people, special dishes – in the right proportions. Every host will have their own recipe, their own special combination of ingredients, and that’s what makes it all so wonderful.

Vital to my recipe for the perfect summer lunch is bright sunshine. The golden rays are instantly uplifting, and as we get down to the business of eating we celebrate the dappled warmth. There’s a freedom to eating outside that acts as a salve for our all-too-frenetic lives. My recipe also involves carrying the kitchen table out of the house into the daylight. The very act is liberating – it’s something to do with abandoning the walls of convention for a while and, with it, slipping the tethers of time.

We cut fresh flowers from the garden and lay the table in the simplest of fashions; there’s no need for pretention. Perhaps we eat with family, perhaps with friends – or both. Regardless, the food I make is just one part of a whole. Wine, bread, sharing, discussion, laughter, sun hats – these are the ingredients that make for a happy occasion.

I’d like to think the recipes I’m including here are just right for a lunch such as this: simple, seasonal dishes that can all be prepared in advance. Nothing is designed to be served hot, so the meal can be taken slowly, the moments savoured. There’s no urgency to eat, and that sense of leisure is another key ingredient in my ideal recipe for an all-toorare summer feast.”

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About delicious. Magazine

Get summer off to a sizzling start with the June issue of delicious. and cook paella on a barbecue, whip up Gill Meller’s outdoor meal or feast on Richard Turner’s epic umami burger. Discover new ways to roast chicken and try our fab G&T cheesecake, Martin Morales’ sea bass ceviche and midweek meals ready in 15 minutes. Along with The World’s Best Cake recipe, there’s our 16-page guide to cooking with dairy including exclusive recipes and foolproof techniques. Bring on the sun…