Chef Kevin Roberts Prepares an Outdoor Feast
“Picnic” derives from the seventeenth century French word pique-nique, a gathering that was like an upscale potluck. After the French Revolution, the royal parks of Paris were opened to the public. Londoners imitated the Parisians and formed “picnic societies” in which members would arrive to outdoor feasts with their own dish. Eating outside went from practical to ostentatious. In the Victorian era, picnics were grand affairs—one could not “properly” eat outdoors without tables, linens, crystal, chairs, and servants. Through many iterations, picnics have devolved into the more casual gatherings we typically enjoy today. In the South, we eschew the crystal stemware and tables for red Solo cups and a nice, blanketed patch of grass or sand. In Richmond, Virginia, Chef Kevin Roberts has crafted a world-class picnic menu: a super-sharable fried trout sandwich and three side dishes packed with flavor.
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