How to have the perfect non-traditional Christmas feast

Christmas feasts don’t always have to be about sitting down to a roast turkey with all the trimmings.

Between the heat of the Aussie sun and wanting to have a relaxing day that’s not spent entirely in the kitchen, many people are warming towards having a non-traditional Christmas spread.

“I’ve always wondered why Australian’s cook traditional Christmas feasts because you’re not meant to have turkeys, hams and stodgy gravy in the heart of summer,” Chef Warren Mendes says.

Now, more families are embracing lighter meals such as prawns, cheese platters and oysters.

“People are moving away from ham being the hero meat, to using fish, oysters or prawns as the hero and adding fruit and veggies,” he says.

Putting on a non-traditional lunch or dinner also has other perks.

“It’s easier for time-poor people and for those who don’t have enough oven space to do ham, chicken, turkey and roast vegetables,” Warren says.

Here are Warren’s tips for hosting the perfect non-traditional Christmas:

Take advantage of the produce around you

If you’re lucky enough to live either by the coast or near a fish market, Warren says that using fresh seafood as the hero element is a no-brainer.

“Roasting a whole large fish can be an impressive centrepiece,” he says. “A lot of food is frozen and sold defrosted around Christmas, in order to keep up with demand, so put an order in for something that is fresh - speak to your butcher and fishmonger.”

RELATED: Try this glazed snapper recipe

Put a little twist on your classics

If you can’t give up a classic ham, Warren suggests spicing things up for an unusual twist.

“Add a hit of chilli to your glaze or even go for a full on Asian-inspired glaze,” Warren recommends. “Kecap manis is a great trick for an instant Asian glaze on a ham. Even try a great roast lamb shoulder as your centrepiece, but roast it with Christmas spices like cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice and bay leaf.”

Fire up your barbecue

Don’t limit cooking to your kitchen.

“The thing about Christmas meals is that a lot of dishes rely on the oven and there can be a queue to cook and warm everything,” Warren says.

Instead, try grabbing a disposable foil tray and glaze your ham on the barbecue over a low heat with the lid closed.

“This also gives the ham a great extra-smokey flavour,” he says. “Throw a few bay leaves into the barbecue and let them smoke up a little.”

RELATED: Try these chocolate and caramel 'mince pies' for a to mix things up

Go cold

Since it’s hot outside, why not serve up some delicious cold dishes and platters.

“Cheese boards, cured meats, cooked prawns, oysters and breads all work really well,” Warren suggests. “All that’s left for you to do is make the platters look great! Spend your time mixing up great dips and sides.”

Turn it into brunch

Instead of running around the kitchen all day, why not put on a brunch and leave the rest of the afternoon to relax?

“That way, you can still glaze a whole ham and serve it up with eggs, great bread and of course, Champagne,” Warren adds.

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

Please login to comment
Posted by Celina4Report
Buy quality CBD Isolate Powder,

#1 Wholesale & Distributors of CBD Products for Sale | Wholesale & Bulk
We are the largest Bulk and Wholesale Suppliers of Zero THC Full Spectrum Hemp Oil, Hemp Derived Pure CBD,Organic Hemp CBD, CBDA, CBG oil, CBN oil, CBC oil, Full Spectrum CBD Oil, Terpenes, Fully Legal Farm Bill CBD, Hemp CBD Oils, CBD Isolate Powders, CBD Soft Gels, Water Soluble Nano CBD,
CBD Concentrates, CBD Crumble, CBD E-Liquids, CBD Crystals, CBD Wax, CBD Shatter, CBD Crumble, CBD Coffee, CBD Gummies, CBD Syrups, CBD Edibles, CBD Balms, CBD Creams, CBD rich Full Spectrum Tinctures, CBD Water, CBD for Animals, Bulk CBD, Wholesale CBD, CBD Patches, CBD rich Raw Materials, White Label CBD, CBD Cigarettes, Private Label, and Custom Made CBD Finished Products, Hemp CBD Manufacturing.

Contact us on our direct email.
Email: (
Posted by Celina4Report
Cow/ Ox Gallstones available

Cow /Ox Gallstones for sale for (wholestone / brokenstone ratio is 80% / 20% )
We are full time exporter of high quality natural ox gallstone.
Our product obtained from disease free cattle.
We can supply up to 10 Kg. monthly. Shipment prompt by air courier (DHL).
Price depends on ratio of wholestone / brokenstone.
wholestone / brokenstone ratio is 80% / 20%
wholestone / brokenstone ratio is 70%/30%
wholestone / brokenstone ratio is 60%/40%

Functions: To clear heat and release toxins.
To eliminate endogenous wind and stop convulsions.
to resolve phlegm and promote resuscitation.If you wish to try out what we
have,then we will be so much pleased to get your inquiry.

Contact us on our direct email or whatsapp us on +31 97010210408.
Email: (