Packing for a picnic seems easy enough―just throw a bunch of things into a basket and go, right? Not quite. Because nothing is worse than being stranded in the middle of a field without an essential, like a knife (or, more importantly, a wine key). With that in mind, we asked Chopped judge Chris Santos, who helms the kitchen at N.Y.C. hotspot Vandal―and will assemble over 16,000 bespoke packed meals at Governors Island this weekend for PINKNIC, the first-ever rosé-themed picnic and music festival―for tips on how to picnic like a pro. Scroll through below for his six al fresco essentials.
1. FOOD THAT CAN BE SERVED COLD
Think easy-to-prep, portable items like shaved salt and vinegar potato chips, charred sirloin, and miso-glazed asparagus and edamame.
Miss Vickie's, $18/30-pack; taldepot.com
2. MASON JARS
Swap tupperware for these decidedly chic containers to separate out ingredients and/or sandwich components so nothing gets too moist before you're meant to enjoy it. Pro tip: Always assemble on-site when possible!
Cost Plus, $21/set of 12; worldmarket.com
4. A WATER BOTTLE
No cooler is necessary with this super-insulated canteen, specifically designed to fit 750 ml of water (or an entire bottle of wine), and keep it cold for up to 12 hours.
Corkcicle 25 oz Canteen, $33; corkcicle.com
5. AN ULTRA-SOFT BLANKET
Bring one to sit on, and make sure to also pack a shower curtain for your blanket to keep it from getting damp. You can even forgo the leather carry straps and double your blanket as a carrier for your rosé bottles, adds Santos. "Just wrap them neatly, fashion a handle, and voilà!"
Frank + Oak, $70; frankandoak.com
6. A PICNIC "BASKET"
This functional monogram tote moonlights as a stylish beach bag, and the detachable shoulder strap renders it easier to carry than those pesky wicker baskets.
Mark and Graham, starting at $80; markandgraham.com