Entertain like a pro with these Christmas Day preperation tips from some of New Zealand's most loved and respected chefs.
Michael Van de Elzen
Mike says: Make all your dressings, glazes and sauces in advance to save you time on Christmas Day. Usually, the dressing is what really levels up a salad or dish and often the flavours are stronger if it's been able to sit for a couple of days! Put everything into airtight jars and they will keep in the fridge for a few days before you pull them out to wow everyone for Christmas lunch.
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Nic says: When preparing our menu for Christmas lunch I always use whole cuts. Meaning a whole side of salmon or duck. This way your reparation is around one key hero ingredient and you can really focus on getting great flavours into the one cut. It is also a very easy and impressive way to serve guests.
Sid & Chand Sahrawat
Sid and Chand say: When you plan the menu make sure you have lots of cold entrees or a charcuterie board so it gives you time to focus on warming up or cooking the main dishes.
Cold entrees like a ceviche are perfect for our summer weather too. They also allow you as the host to relax and welcome guests, make sure everyone has a drink before you head back into the kitchen to do the finishing touches.
Preparation is everything, so pre- batch cocktails, select your wine and make a fruit punch for the kids all ahead of time. We even lay out the glasses, so guests find it easy if they need a top up.
Get the children involved in setting the table — simple table settings with foraged pinecones that are painted with some gold/silver paint, pine leaves tied with twine, candles and Christmas ornaments all make a beautiful table setting.
Don't forget the Christmas crackers (we still have ours from last year as we forgot all about them).