Clockwise from top left: Burger blends, mustard sauce, BBQ at home, “modern classic” cocktail.

It’s almost grilling season! With Memorial Day weekend kicking off in just seven days, we have burgers and barbecue on our minds. So what are the best burger blends to use, and what’s the one essential ingredient for BBQ’ing at home? We’ve got the answers, just in time. On the drinking side, we took a look at what exactly counts as a “modern classic” cocktail, talked craft beer with one of NYC’s best-known brew advocates and checked out George Mendes’s new cervejaria. Booze not your thing? We’ve got a study on coffee that’s sure to make your head spin. We also asked a chef to pen a letter to his younger self, debated the practice of banning restaurant writers from restaurants and unleashed the only mustard-sauce recipe you’ll ever need. All that and more, on this week’s hot topics on Food Republic.

1. What are the best burger blends to use at home? We investigate.

2. A chef pens a letter to his younger self. It’s not pretty.

3. Restaurants are banning food writers more and more. But why?

4. The Portuguese are happy! George Mendes has opened a cervejaria in NYC.

5. What’s the one essential ingredient for barbecue at home? Wood!

6. Jimmy Carbone had a tough spring. He’s also one of NYC’s great craft-beer advocates.

7. “Modern classic” cocktail. You’ve heard the term. But what does it mean?

8. Facebook just launched a new page devoted exclusively to food. Of course it did.

9. We take a look at coffee — drinking, importing and earning — by the numbers.

10. We promise this is the only mustard-sauce recipe you’ll ever need.