Etiquette Tuesday: Before You Head To The Cookout…

[ 0 ] May 19, 2015 |


Memorial Day weekend is the official beginning of summer festivities.  Everyone (and I mean everyone) is having, attending or thinking about cooking out this weekend.  Yours truly has three and counting, which will mean plenty o’ chargrilled flavor and rum punch concoctions.  I thought this was the perfect time to share etiquette tips for the many invites that guests will receive this summer.  There is nothing like attending or hosting an event where someone obviously does not know there is some protocol in the even the most relaxed situations i.e. the cookout.  Just a few things to remember:

  1. I will attend/I will not attend. Respond!  When the invite goes out for the event, a simple “Looking forward to the rum punch!” is sufficient.  The host is trying to get a count of what they need to supply.  If you plan on showing up with five of the homies, how about a heads up on these additional guests.
  2. Bring something. Contribute to the kitty in some form or fashion, especially if you know you plan on wolfing down more than a few of those ribs, dogs and brews.  The best cookout gifts include cases of beer, bottles of libations, a dessert and/or food for the grill (burgers, hot dogs, steaks).
  3. Don’t bring an entourage…unless you have permission to do so. Those five friends I mentioned above, how about you chop that number down to 1 or 2 unless the hosts knows you are bringing a whole crew?  The hosts likely did not plan on feeding your tribe, be considerate.
  4. Do offer to help with any prep and/or clean up. This varies depending on the host.  I know some host who insist on their guests relaxing and them taking care of everything.  Gauge this based on what you know about the host and vibe of the scene.  If it looks like a hand can be lent, then jump in there.  Cookouts are super chill and wonderful but they require some work.
  5. Do not leave with what you came with unless the hosts insists on you taking it with you. Bottles of liquor and beer should 99% of the time be left unless the hosts asks you to remove from the premises, which is 99% of the time not going to happen.  The only things that should walk out with you from the kitchen are the actual containers that you may have brought containing your dishes.  This is absolutely acceptable because we all know we may never see our dish again if we leave it behind…

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Washington, DC and North Carolina. All three places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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