Gail Simmons' Greatest Grilling Tips

From a signature cocktail to the perfect savory dish and sweet desert, Gail Simmons from Bravo's Top Chef shows how to grill up an impressive summer BBQ menu

From the LifeMinute Team

June 29, 2015

Want to pick up a few new grilling tricks that'll impress your guests? Bravo's Top Chef Gail Simmons uses the grill to make everything from a delicious signature cocktail to the savory main dish and a delicious desert spread.

Charred Cocktail Anyone?

The first thing you should serve your guests? A refreshing, festive drink, of course. "I like to keep it easy by giving them one signature cocktail, instead of having to run around customizing a drink for everyone. My Charred Pomelo Twist is exactly that. It uses fresh juices, fresh herbs, and it's easy to batch for a big group," says Simmons. First, char ruby red grapefruits on the grill. "It gives them that delicious, juicy smoked flavor," she says. Next, juice the charred grapefruit, pour that juice into a cocktail shaker and add some fresh cilantro. "This gives a great herbaceous note," she explains. Muddle that together, and then add a little sweet tea. "I'm thrilled to be partnering with Pure Leaf Iced Tea because it's made from real tea leaves and I'm really obsessed with realness and fresh flavor," she says. Add a little ice, shake it up, then serve in a cocktail glass rimmed with smoked salt. "The smoked salt enhances your grilling theme. Add another little sprig of cilantro and it's the perfect summer cocktail," says Simmons

Tea-Infused Salmon & Salad

For the main course, salmon is a savory crowd pleaser, and griling it is the best way to go. "I love grilling salmon because it doesn't weigh people down and it also has a beautiful bright color. If you use a lot of color in your food, you know it's going to taste fresh and delicious. The more color, the better," says Simmons. The key is to marinate the salmon to infuse it with lots of flavor. "I use unsweetened tea as a base to my marinade. When I add spices like chili, ginger, and a little garlic, the whole dish really comes together. I also separate out some of the marinade, before the fish goes in, to use as a salad dressing. Throw the salmon on the grill, and serve it over some fresh greens, a little cucumber salad or whatever veggies you have on hand, and top with that beautiful dressing. Sprinkle with a little sesame and it's the perfect summer grilled dish that always looks and tastes beautiful," she explains.

Grilled Fruit

Now you need an eye-catching dessert, right? For summer, keep it fresh and simple. "I love keeping with the grilled theme and grilling fruit, like peaches and pineapples. Add a little scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream and you're good to go," says Simmons.


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