As summer vacation season comes to a close, many Americans are taking one last camping trip—or even scheduling overnight campouts in the backyard.   

The good news for organic foodies?   

You can move beyond traditional camping food and go gourmet. Hot dogs and sun tea are making room for dishes like adult-pleasing herbed salmon and fine wine.   

The key to gourmet camp cooking is preparation. Do as much prep as possible before you head outdoors.   

Here are some additional tips from the experts at Foster’s Wine Estates:   

  • Chop fresh vegetables, and store them in plastic containers in the cooler. Yesterday’s recipe for Gazpacho Salad is a perfect example of gourmet campfire cuisine. Prepare it ahead of time by finely chopping one-third of the vegetables in a blender or food processor at home. Add vinaigrette, and store in a tightly sealed container in the cooler. 
  • Bring your favorite herbs and spices in small, resealable bags. Curry, cumin, dried orange peel, ginger, cinnamon and fresh garlic add gourmet flavor to just about anything. 
  • Mix up favorite sauces or marinades ahead of time to dress things up. Try fresh pesto or spicy dry rubs. 
  • To complement your meal, choose a great wine. Transport it in an insulated carrier to keep it at the appropriate serving temperature. And keep the entire experience gourmet by serving your wine in elegant stemless tumblers. 

There’s no need to completely rough it when you’re camping. Fine dining is possible anywhere, even by the campfire!