Christmas Vibes

Christmas Dinner Tips From Professional Chefs

The big day is fast approaching and you may have already started your Christmas food shopping. If you’ve ever been given the honour of cooking the dinner, you’ll know how difficult it can be. But with plenty of preparation and planning the day can run smoothly… honest! To help make your life easier, we’ve got Christmas dinner tips for your festive food from some of the UK’s best professional chefs. Bon appetit!

Christmas Dinner Tips From Professional Chefs – Transcript & Recipes

Christmas dinner is the biggest meal of the year, so we’ve enlisted the help of professional chefs to show you how it’s done.


Prawn cocktail- Jamie Oliver

Use king prawns fried and tossed in garlic, oil and a pinch of cayenne pepper to set off your traditional prawn cocktail. (Recipe)

‘Keep it simple’ – Robert Stacey

‘Just serve up a great charcuterie board – nuts, cheese, good olives, meats and figs with champagne, Prosecco or wine. Everyone can sit and catch up with each other and relax into the day.’

Leftover soup – The Hairy Bikers

Preempt the leftovers by cutting up a bit extra of everything to make a chestnut, roasted butternut squash and Bramley apple soup… or whatever soup you fancy! (Recipe)


Turkey – John Burton-Race

Don’t get yourself in a flap over a too-big turkey:

  • Ask the butcher to take the legs off and remove the bones
  • Stuff them and sew them into a sausage shape
  • Wrap them in foil & cook next to the turkey crown

They’ll cook at the same time and it will fit in your oven. Tasty and stress-free!

Lumpy gravy? Strain it through a sieve.

Potatoes – Heston Blumenthal

Always make a few more roasties than you think you need so your guests don’t go hungry. (Recipe)

You don’t need to cook 4 types of potatoes to impress your guests, just do 1 type really well.

Veggies – Phil Vickery

Honey roast your carrots and parsnips to add luxury to your festive plate. (Recipe)

Even kids won’t be able to resist brussels sprouts cooked in an apple butter glaze.

Apricot & chestnut stuffing – Mary Berry

Cook stuffing in a separate dish rather than inside the bird so it becomes crisp. Use dried apricots and frozen or vacuum-packed chestnuts to keep down costs! (Recipe)

Cranberry sauce – Nigella Lawson

‘It is ridiculously easy to make, and tastes so much better homemade that it feels like the wrong thing to cut out of your cooking schedule.’

You’ll need:

  • 340g cranberries
  • 200g sugar
  • 75ml water
  • 45ml cherry brandy (optional)

Simmer together in a pan for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste (carefully!) before cooling to check whether more sugar is needed and then transfer to a bowl to set. Make this ahead of time! (Recipe)

‘Use frozen cranberries instead of fresh – they’re cheaper and last longer!’ – Ross Gibbens

Perfect pairings – Eric Bédiat

Turkey – gravy

Beef wellington – Madeira/Port wine sauce

Salmon – white wine sauce with dill & lemon

Nut roast – strong tomato salsa / mushroom sauce

Festive feasters

People used to put a coin in Christmas puddings to bring luck to whoever finds it!


White chocolate traybake – Nadiya Hussain

Feed the whole family with an easy-slice cake filled with the flavours of Christmas – mincemeat, orange zest and spices. (Recipe)

A fuss-free pavlova – John Whaite

‘They’re so simple and completely customisable, so you can cater to fussy tastes’. Make and freeze meringue in an airtight container lined with baking parchment and you’ll only have to add cream and fruit on the day. (Recipe)

Festive musts – Paul Hollywood

  • Use the best ingredients you can afford
  • Don’t scrimp on the mince pie filling
  • Don’t throw away Christmas pud leftovers – freeze and pan-fry with butter when you want to eat it! (Recipe)

We hope this helps your day to run smoothly… we’ll be sending Happy Christmas Vibes!