Celebrity Chef Luke Mangan shares his expert advice on serving up a festive feast.
He’s one of the most successful restauranteurs and chefs in Australia and with classical training, a slew of highly regarded restaurants, cookbooks and regular tv appearances under his belt, it’s safe to say Luke Mangan knows a thing or two about entertaining! Here the celebrity chef shares his tips on how to have the best Christmas celebration yet…
Do you have any advice for staying calm in the kitchen?
When entertaining, try to prepare as much of the meal beforehand as possible so when your guests arrive all you need to do is assemble, reheat and plate up.That way you’re not stuck in the kitchen all evening and you can enjoy time with your guests; if your relaxed, your guests will be too!
I think the key is to simply cook dishes you know, and that you are comfortable with.
What dishes would you recommend to impress this Christmas?
I do love a traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, I come from a big family so Christmas day was always a big event.
To impress your guests I would start the day by opening a bottle of bubbly with a few fresh oysters and prawns; I love seafood at Christmas time, we have the perfect climate for it!
For main, a traditional ham and turkey with a few lovely salads or warm sides is always a winner for me, served with a glass of chilled rose of course!
Any planning and prepping advice for home cooks?
When entertaining guests, try not to be too tricky with your dishes. Simple and fresh is always best and try to use seasonal produce as much as you can, this can also keep the cost down when feeding large groups.
Can you share with us some easing entertaining ideas?
If you are not one for a traditional Christmas lunch, a BBQ is a great alternative or consider a cold seafood lunch for less time in the kitchen.
You can prepare your salads and sides in advance, then cook your meat or seafood on the BBQ and serve buffet style, it’s a great way to entertain and gives your guests plenty of variety.
What are your Barbeque tips and tricks this summer?
I couldn’t live without my barbecue. I cook everything on it! Try experimenting with new marinades for your meat, grilling vegetables or even cooking bread on the BBQ for a delicious flavour.
What is your ultimate summer dessert?
My ice-cream plum pudding (pictured above). It’s a great alternative to a traditional Christmas pudding while still keeping with the Christmas theme, plus its great on a hot day!
For more information on Luke Mangan, get to www.lukemangan.com
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