Already prepping for Christmas dinner? It’s arguably the biggest meal of the year, with the most complicated timings involved, and is also guaranteed to have the most people popping into the kitchen to ‘help’ and ‘advise’. Insert eyeroll here.
One person you can trust on the kitchen advice front is chef Gordon Ramsay though, and his approach to Christmas dinner is definitely worth considering – and with five children, the 55-year-old has a lot of people round the table. “We’re such a big family, everyone stresses out about that time,” he admits, but his key tip is: “You can’t eat that lunch too early.”
“When I hear about people eating at one o’clock,” he says, throwing his hands up in the air, “you do not want to eat that much food at 1pm. And the pressure – do you have any idea what you’ve got to do before?!”
Instead, his Christmas Day pans out like this: “We get up late, we do the stockings, and then we’ll have scrambled egg, a little bit of smoked salmon as a treat, fresh croissant, bread or toast – a really nice, relaxed breakfast, and then we’ll focus on Christmas dinner around 5 o’clock.”
The difference it makes is that they’re able to “get out and do a walk before, go in the back garden do an activity,” and then there’s time to set the dinner table beautifully.
“And so you look forward to this lunch/dinner, and you eat slower, and you enjoy it better,” says Ramsay. Anything to make Christmas dinner less stressful – we’re in.
Ramsay In 10 by Gordon Ramsay is published by Hodder & Stoughton. Photography Jamie Orlando-Smith. Available now.