Sunday night roast dinners evoke wonderful childhood memories for many: the delicious smells, the second helpings and the anticipation of the week ahead.

Next Sunday is Selaks Roast Day, now in its sixth year. It celebrates the great Kiwi roast tradition of a hearty Sunday night dinner.

Roasts needn't be overly stodgy and fatty, although some people will say that's what a roast is all about - that feeling of being so full you'll need to be rolled from the table.

Gravy and roast potatoes are a classic combination but there are so many other amazing things you can do with vegetables to create a fabulous meal.

If you're making meat the centrepiece, you can have so much fun with hearty salads, clean-tasting dressings and great roasted vegetable dishes.

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When I was studying in Wellington, I acquired an honorary Wellington family who would do a Sunday night dinner religiously, and it was always a highlight.

Often, it would be a roast, and it was there I learned to put anchovies with lamb and how to do really great pork crackling.

The intention of Roast Day is simply to celebrate the roast and to encourage people to get together with friends or family, or both, for a shared winter meal.

Start early so everyone can get home at a reasonable hour, and remember to leave room for pudding. It makes your weekend seem a whole lot longer and is the perfect end to the week.

What to cook? Slow-cooking meat is definitely the easiest way to go. Put it on earlier in the day and it will be ready whenever you are. With this pot-roasted beef, it can be put on earlier and left on a very low heat until you're ready.

The classic baked potato is always a hit, and so comforting, plus the sharp dressing cuts through the beef's richness.

Roast chicken is another classic. Do you carve at the table or in the kitchen? I tend to be a carve-at-the-table cook, but this definitely depends on the occasion.

Any dinner parties at my house are generally pretty casual, raucous affairs, and there's always plenty of food and wine.

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As for the question of whether to serve red wine or white - I say give people what they want. Wine matches are fun, but years of waitressing have taught me you really just want to make the customer - or your guests - happy.

Open a bottle of red and a bottle of white, and have a great night.

Try out Delaney Mes' delicious recipes at bite.co.nz below

Butterflied Lamb Leg with Warm Greens
Beef Pot Roast with Baked Potatoes and Spiced Rocket Dressing
Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken with Fennel and Bean Salad