Augusta’s Vera Stewart shares a few favorite party bites
Every April, the biggest names in golf convene in Augusta, Georgia, for one of the South’s most quintessential sporting events: the Masters Tournament. For many attending, getting a taste of Augusta National’s illustrious pimento cheese sandwiches and sugar-sweet tea (it’s just $3 for the duo, plus chips) is all part of the experience.
But for those of us viewing the action from our living rooms, the weekend can still be an occasion with the right menu. Vera Stewart, an Augusta caterer who’s been in the business for nearly thirty-five years, has just the lineup. She shares some entertaining favorites from her debut book, The VeryVera Cookbook: Recipes from My Table, out this April from Story Farm.
The party pro has a few tips for first-timers. “One of the first pieces of advice I can give is plan, plan, plan,” she says, recommending hosts keep notes on everything from menu plans to last-minute items. And, “When cooking for a crowd, I steer clear of anything that must be micromanaged.” (Think dishes that can be assembled ahead of time and are easy for guests to enjoy.)
Stewart’s Masters-viewing menu showcases Southern ingredients with assortment of dips—Vidalia onion, honey pecan, and bacon-tomato—made for spreading on her signature buttermilk biscuits. “Add in a cold beer, a golf umbrella, and maybe even a practice putting green and scoreboard in the backyard, and it’s like you’re there!”