Some of our hardest-working food and fashion industry stalwarts tell us how they make their New Year's Eve special.

Kate Sylvester

The Spanish know how to celebrate. There is nothing happier than sitting around a giant dish of paella with everyone you love.

Josh Emett, Ostro, Madam Woo, Rata
* Buy or catch some beautiful fresh fish, and serve it sashimi-style for an appetiser or canape. Dress with soy, sesame oil, Japanese mayo and avocado - so simple but amazing to eat, especially in hot weather.

* Drinkswise, Pimms and lemonade is always a go-to for me - a nice big punchbowl with lots of cucumber, strawberries and mint.


* Serve pulled pork sliders from my cookbook, Cut, for later in the evening, to soak up the drink and allow you to party on into the night.

Damaris and Renee Coulter, Coco's Cantina
We always take good cheese, good bread and watermelon. We love taleggio and gorgonzola with antipasti, goats' cheese, if you have grissini to dip into, and manchego and pecorino after dinner. We usually go to Wild Wheat in Mt Eden, il forno in Ponsonby or La Voie Francaise on Dominion Rd. The Otara flea market also does amazing fried bread.

Jacqui Dixon, director of Sabato
A platter or two with Mas Portell sweet white garlic, slivers of Sabato Bellota jamon or prosciutto or Pedrazzoli cacciatore salami, Marcona almonds, empanadas from our freezer - with some aioli, which you could stir some truffle paste into, Ron's Salmon gravlax and a pile of Ringawera lavash.

Trelise Cooper
For games, it's a Scrabble tournament with brainiacs while drinking cocktails. For food, it's finely chopped surimi mixed with Japanese mayonnaise loaded on to garlic rubbed bruschetta.

Mike Van de Elzen, The Food Truck Garage
If I'm asked to bring a plate for a New Year's Eve party, I would bring curried eggs. I love curried eggs! How's that, the Food Truck chef opting for traditional curried eggs, complete with curry powder and with the yolk whipped then piped in.

I could also take some fishcakes with my latest favourite condiment - mayo with a dash of ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice mix), and plenty of lime juice. Or I'd take tacos, but with poached chicken, shredded, and mixed with heaps of lime juice, goats' feta, shallots and chilli sauce.

Dion Nash, founder of Triumph & Disaster
Pimms punch is always a great option. Put an icecream container filled with water in the freezer the night before. This serves to keep the punch cold all day, heaps of mint, cucumber, nectarines and plums, some lemonade and Pimms and New Year will shape up nicely. In general, though, with New Year's, don't expect too much, or force it too hard.

Sean Connolly, The Grill
Rock melon wrapped in prosciutto and a couple of bottles of Prosecco.

Juliette Hogan
Try the celery Six Barrel Soda, vodka and soda water garnished with a little cucumber.

Elizabeth Lind, La Cigale
For a New Year's Eve "plate" I'd either bring a summer vegetable salad, using lots of ingredients picked fresh my garden, and tossed with toasted sliced almonds, drizzled with a yummy dressing and sprinkled with a few pomegranate seeds.

For a drink without alcohol, it's a Vedrenne fruit syrup - a little in a tall glass with plenty of ice and topped with sparkling mineral water or soda. If I'm in the mood for a beer, it'll be an icy cold Asahi or Peroni and I can't go past Champagne for special occasions.