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The Perks of Being in Charge of Christmas Dinner…

Going to be chained to the stove over Christmas? Good news: you do the work, you get the perk! Our chefs share their favourite kitchen steals…

It’s all about the skinny ends of the roast parsnip for me; the caramel-like crunchy sticks, oozing with butter and scented with rosemary. A few swift incisions and it looks as if they were never there … just the cook’s splendour, and a covert rewards for the effort of the day.” – Chantelle Nicholson, chef patron at Tredwells tredwells.com

“I generally do all the cooking, so I get all the perks! My favourite is from my Christmas Eve: honey and orange glazed ham. The first slice from the end is the best – crispy and sweet from the caramel and then perfectly pink inside – so I always make sure it’s on my plate!” – Ben Tish, culinary director at The Stafford thestaffordlondon.com

“For me it’s leftover Yorkshire puddings with golden syrup and ice cream for dessert. The centre is the perfect place to fill with ice cream or custard…it‘s surprisingly delicious! Youll be making extra mix just so you have some left over to enjoy!” – Laura Petersen, pastry chef at The Coal Shed coalshed-restaurant.co.uk

Since you’re the one cutting up the roast turkey you have first dibs on the ‘oysters’, which are stuck to the bone. They’re a bit tricky to remove, but the most tender piece on the bird.” – Ronnie Kimbugwe, group head chef at Bel & the Dragon belandthedragon.co.uk

We‘ve developed a Sussex Pond Mince Pie for Christmas mincemeat and lemon curd mixed together with whipped salted caramel in a choux pastry. The leftover salted caramel is the golden opportunity for a sweet treat and takes me back to childhood memories of licking cake batter off the spoon. Pete Grey, head chef at Heston Blumenthal’s The Hind’s Head hindsheadbray.com

I have so many; getting to eat the first Pig in Blanket, scoffing the crispy turkey skin before anyone else can get to it…and having a Christmas tipple whilst cooking!” – Richard Bainbridge, chef patron at Benedicts restaurantbenedicts.com

I help myself to the ‘parson’s nose‘ of the turkey – part of the neck just under the cavity. As a kid I would fight with siblings over it. Crispy skin, warm fat and juicy meat which I would pull off and pop straight in my mouth. Not healthy but delicious!” – Sean Kelly, chef patron at The Lovat Loch Ness thelovat.com

“For me, its all about those delicious crunchy bits of roast potato you scrape off the baking tray. I normally cook mine the day before, boiling, draining and seasoning Maris Pipers, then slathering them in fat, giving a good shake and putting them in the fridge ready to whack in a hot oven on Christmas Day.”Josh Eggleton, chef proprietor at The Pony & Trap theponyandtrap.co.uk

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