Great Catering Ideas for Your Hamptons Summer BBQ

Make your summer party a success
Make your summer party a success, Photo: william87/iStock/Thinkstock

As George and Ira Gershwin wrote, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.”

Well, the lyric certainly applies to summer 2015 in the Hamptons as we kick back, ride bikes and enjoy the beach, boats and all the flavors of summer—literally and figuratively.

And what’s summer in the Hamptons without a fabulous party? For the last 25 years, Arlene Rotfeld of Shackamaxon Caterers has been providing full service, creative catering with spectacular results in Philadelphia, New York City and, of course, the Hamptons.

While Rotfeld would advise that any prospective party planner secure her services to achieve soiree superiority, she shares some tips for getting any party started right.

1. Hire a Good Caterer
“As I said, Shackamaxon Caterers provides all the delicious cuisine, along with the grill(s) to cook it, tents and everything else needed for a great time,” Rotfeld says.

2. Creative Invitations
Try thinking outside the box when creating your party invite—it should stand out among all the other competing events. Because, let’s face it, there’s no shortage of things to do during summer in the Hamptons. “We often hand deliver creative barbecue invites with aprons tied around the actual paper invitation,” Rotfeld says, also suggesting tying invites with raffia and placing them into cornhusks.

3. Decor Is Key
Consider tents to add importance to a party and transport guests into your world. Place lounge furniture strategically so guests can lie back and relax when not at the table. Of course, put loungers around the pool, where you can float flowers for extra effect, Rotfeld adds, noting that she caters all celebrations in all sorts of environments, including gorgeous rooftop soirees.

4. Set the Stage
No detail should be spared when preparing dining tables, even for outdoor picnic table affairs. Red and white checked linen, crisp blue napkins tied with raffia and a mini American flag in it, centerpieces with Montauk daisies in stellar galvanized buckets, blue and white spongeware plates and Bakelite flatware all go a long way toward making a fun and memorable impression, Rotfeld says, sharing some of her favorite summer looks for catering. “Tabletops can also by styled with fruits and vegetables en masse.”

5. Talk to Your Caterer
Get the most out of your caterer by really explaining what you want, and make sure you’ve hired someone receptive and willing to do the extra work. “Add more appetizers, whether it’s mozzarella-basil caprese stacks and cheese straws, lobster and mac n’ cheese cups or some other fun bite,” Rotfeld says. “A truly luxe meal can be customized.”

6. Good Barbecue Doesn’t Begin and End at Hamburgers
“Add shrimp kebobs in orange zest, halibut in sesame hoisin, swordfish rubbed with mango,” Rotfeld says. Good, unique food puts a smile on everyone’s face. That’s a fact.

7. Staff, Staff, Staff, Relax, Relax, Relax
Of course the best way to prep a party is to let the experts do it all for you, Rotfeld says, pointing out that a qualified, confident caterer with an abundance of staff, including a talented bartender, will ensure that hosts can relax and actually host. Leave the rest to someone else.

Scroll down to view Arlene Rotfeld’s “Grillin’ & Chillin’ July 4th Barbecue” menu.

Arlene Rotfeld of Shackamaxon Caterers
Arlene Rotfeld of Shackamaxon Caterers

Catering not just barbecues, but all manner of celebration, Arlene Rotfeld has been turning events into experiences for more than 25 years. From Center City Philadelphia to New York City and the Hamptons, Rotfeld has been orchestrating weddings, mitzvahs and events of all shapes and sizes, to the delight of her clients.

To reach Shackamaxon Caterers, call 516-909-8580 or visit

Grillin’ & Chillin’ July 4th Barbecue Menu

First we’ll have some yummy hors d’oeuvres…
Mini Hot Dogs with Spicy Mustard
Tex-Mex 7-Layer Dip with Lime Chips
Bruschetta with Garlic Crostini

Chow Down Buffet
Extra Long Beef Hot Dogs with Mustard, Relish, Chopped Onions
Southern Barbecued Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
Down and Dirty Ribs with Brown Sugar Glaze
¼ LB. All Beef Burgers with Condiments
Grilled Corn with Chili Lime Butter
Brown Sugar Baked Beans

Still Hungry?
Whole Watermelon Basket filled with Summer Fresh Fruits
Assorted Homemade Pies
Apple, Cherry, Blueberry

Assorted Regular and Diet Sodas
Bottled Water, Iced Tea

(Other options available: Grilled Salmon,Tuna and Halibut)
Pricing available on request
Includes all food as listed above and all paper products.
Setup, Wait Staff and Delivery additional

More from Our Sister Sites