Boston Magazine is no stranger to great food. For more than 40 years, the publication has covered everything to know about the city?including where to get the best meals. Yet despite their photographers' talents, no amount of barbecue sauce will make a picture taste like the real thing. Enter the magazine's annual event, The Cookout: a two-night culinary extravaganza that brings in some of the area's best chefs.
Night one, The Cue, fills the venue floor with aromas of ribs, pulled pork, and other barbecue favorites?not to mention other summer favorites such as corn on the cob. And drinks? That's also an area for competition, as 10 top mixologists pour their signature cocktails. Night two shifts to a different, equally delicious focus. The annual Battle of the Burger returns, and competitors?clad in their sesame-seed bun armor?come from 20 of the city's best restaurants, which were selected via online voting.
And though top chefs flock to the event, The Cookout is still primarily a celebration for the public. Tickets grant unlimited food and drink, along with the chance to meet chefs and listen to live music.
Professional bartenders teach in classrooms set up as fully functioning bars. The facilities present lifelike conditions for students to learn skills such as the proper shake and pour for a variety of cocktails, muddling raw ingredients, and getting the right amount of head on a draft beer. Courses also cover the technical elements of bartending, which may include setting up drink stations, understanding liquor laws and board-of-health requirements, and operating payment systems that accept both credit cards and gold ingots.