Gourmet tips from celebrity chefs

June 15, 2011 3:38:41 PM PDT
Dining out can get pretty pricy, but I scooped up a few ways for you to bring gourmet style to your summer bash, straight from the recipe books of celebrity chefs.

I caught up with a few famous food stars at Tuesday night's Great Chef's Event to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand. I got them to dish on their hottest warm weather entertaining tips.

Cucumber and tomato salad: "Farmers' markets in Philly right now are blowing up. So use cucumber, tomato, equal parts chopped up, lemon parsley, salt, olive oil. You cannot go wrong!" said Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav and Percy St. BBQ in Philadelphia.

Summer ravioli: "Roast eggplant in the oven, scoop out the inside, mix it with some ricotta, salt and pepper, stuff it in ravioli. Boom! Summer ravioli, love it!" said Chef Marc Vetri of Vetri, Amis, Osteria in Philadelphia.

Go green: "This is the time of year when Mother Nature is in her frenzy," said Chef Anne Burrell of the Food Network. "It's all about summer produce and fresh fruit and beautiful stuff. My advice is, go to a farmers' market. Shop there. Do as little as you can to the food, cook it at home and enjoy it."

The perfect burger: "The secret to a good burger is in the grind. It's in the cuts of meat and it's in the love. You have to be able to love that ground meat. You have to have a passion for it!" said Iron Chef Jose Garces of the Garces Restaurant Group, Philadelphia.

Click here to watch Alicia's photo gallery from the Great Chef's Event.