Is the way to your boss' heart through
his stomach? Follow this recipe for success: Pick out a
suitably impressive cut of meat, put on some jazzy tunes,
open a bottle of good wine or chill a bucket of summer ales,
and invite the big guy grillside.
Necktied with the other guy for the big promotion? Want to get in a
little personal time with the boss to ensure the inside track?
There's no more appropriate time than midsummer to make your move,
and showing your grilling prowess may give you the edge.
American Way went to the grilling experts for fail-safe
instructions on how to light a fire under your future. Your coaches
for this endeavor: John Willoughby, executive editor of
Gourmet, and Chris Schlesinger, chef/owner of East Coast
Grill in Cambridge and Back Eddy in Westport, Massachusetts,
co-authors of seven cookbooks, including The Thrill of the
Grill, winner of a James Beard Award, as well as License to
Grill and the recently released How to Cook Meat, both
James Beard Award nominees.
Mention grilling, and the image that immediately comes to mind is
an afternoon spent hanging out in the backyard, flipping burgers
over the flames and having a couple of beers with pals or family.
But grilling can also be dressed up for more formal occasions. Of
course, when making a mistake may ruin your chances for promotion
as well as your dinner, you want to be sure that what comes off the
grill is not just decent, but fantastic. So it pays to take a
little more care than you might on other occasions. Be sure that
you make your charcoal fire in advance or preheat your gas grill,
then check the temperature before any food goes over the fire. Keep
an eye on what you're cooking, and start checking for doneness
earlier than you think you should; you can always put that steak or
chop back on the fire and cook it more, but you can't go back and
cook it less (we've indicated our preference for doneness
throughout, but we'll leave that final call to you - and your
boss). It's also important to choose the right food to put over the
flames. Since grilling by nature is a high-heat cooking method, you
always want to pick foods that will cook relatively quickly. If
you're thinking meat as the main course - and you probably will be
if you're trying to put together a truly impressive meal for anyone
other than a vegetarian - this translates to relatively thin,