Caterer Sam Kim of Skimkim Catering likes to shake things up. "Part of my job is changing the way people think about food," she says. Instead of a dainty first course, she recommends a group of flavors that's both outdoorsy and subtly sophisticated—watermelon with goat cheese, fresh mint, and arugula. "It sounds like what? when you read it but it's the most refreshing salad ever," says Kim.
In keeping with the picnic-worthy dishes, Kim suggests roasted pork shoulder with grilled corn for a main course; butter-bean succotash and hush puppies drizzled with honey-butter maple syrup offer a medley of sweet and mild flavors that contrast nicely with the fresh corn and rich pork.
For dessert, try a playful twist on a campsite favorite: s'mores, or what Kim calls "smash n' burn s'mores on fire." In her version, a torch is used to crisp the marshmallows and melt the chocolate, but the real fun is in the serving: The s’mores are placed over an espresso glass filled with rum or another flammable liqueur and individually lighted for each guest, who can decide how crispy the marshmallow should be.