Still planning your Christmas feast? Steal menu ideas from top chefs

Here's what some of the country's best chefs will be cooking for their families this festive season

15 December 2017 - 00:00 By Roberta Thatcher
The festive colours of a caprese salad make it the perfect choice for a Christmas feast.
The festive colours of a caprese salad make it the perfect choice for a Christmas feast.
Image: 123RF/smoskvitin

CHEF GILE EDWARDS OF LA TETE

Is it always up to you to prepare the big festive meal at home? 

Christmas lunch, as with any lunch at my house, is stressful. As much is I want to 'not cook' when I'm at home, I find that my natural instinct kicks in and I have to do it. Maybe it's the fear that I'll have something that I don't like, or feel that something should have been done differently. This relates to the wine as well as the food. I am a complete control freak when it comes to a meal.

Tell us about your family's festive feast.

Due to our climate in South Africa, Christmas lunch is usually had in the late afternoon and is very al fresco.

Traditionally we start with gazpacho, followed by platters of caprese salad and vitello tonnato, a cold glazed ham (there are normally leftovers for the day after, too), as well as plenty of bread and butter and a green salad. Then there is summer pudding with creme fraiche and to finish, a selection of cheese with preserved figs and some crackers.

This is possibly my favourite meal of all time and something that is not only had at Christmas.

CELINE GOVENDER OF GRANNY MOUSE COUNTRY HOUSE 

Does the thought of cooking a big festive meal at home feel like work for you?

Not at all, whenever I am home I cook for the family. That said, I always work over the festive period, so even though I’d love to spoil them, I usually can’t.

Many people agree that Christmas just wouldn't be the same without a trifle.
Many people agree that Christmas just wouldn't be the same without a trifle.
Image: 123RF/annashepulova

What's your ideal Christmas meal to prepare?

Whole roast turkey, a wide variety of salads, trifle, chocolate cake and somewhere amid all of this there will always be prawns.

Think a Moroccan-spiced prawn salad, pasta salads laden with veg, a butternut and feta salad, and turkey with a rich gravy. For desert I make a trifle with a twist by adding summer fruits and nuts.

Your favourite Christmas treats? 

A slow-cooked roast leg of lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and Christmas pudding - old school like my Mom makes it.

TREVOR BOYD OF THE MICHELANGELO

Is it always up to you, the chef, to prepare the big festive meal at home? 

Christmas day is the busiest day on our calendar at the hotel, so that counts me out. I usually either visit the family in the evening or see them the following day and eat their leftovers.

And if you were to cook a meal at home?

Our family, like most, always overcaters. To compensate for this, we try and keep things light. Traditional food is often too heavy for our summertime Christmas.

Three things that it wouldn’t be Christmas without?

Gammon, trifle and my mother’s Christmas pudding with brandy butter. My late father waited for it in anticipation every year.


ANC Conference 2017
X