Essential Christmas dinner hacks for 2022

Alex South

Alex South


What’s Christmas without a show stopping festive dinner to impress you family, friends and loved ones?

Whether it’s sticking your turkey water bath or getting prepared a day or two before, The Staff Canteen approached some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry, to give you the best hacks for you to smash your Christmas dinner out the park.

What Christmas dinner hacks do chefs recommend?

Speaking to The Staff Canteen, Matt Abé Chef Patron of the three michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, said: "The best thing is preparation, getting everything done a day or two before hand, and having a bit of a plan. For roasting the turkey, I always like to poach it or water bath it beforehand the day before, so its half cooked and then where possible I always love to roast the meat on the barbeque because it means I free up the oven, so I’ve got more space to cook."

Paul Durand, Chef Owner of Manifest and TSC Awards 2022 One to Watch Winner, said: “Just give yourself plenty of time and do what you can the day before, relax and enjoy it. Don’t get too stressed, your nearest and dearest will love it regardless, promise.”

Kim Ratcharoen, Head Chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, said: “To be organised, get up early and get the roast potatoes in the oven! Don’t worry about the turkey because that can be done in the water bath. Everything gets prepped the day before, the potatoes get peeled and soaked in water, and we sous vide the turkey, just the breast, and then the legs get confit in goose or duck fat.”

Alex Claridge, Chef Owner of Wilderness, said: “Do what thou wilt. I’m a fan of simple Christmas cooking to allow more time for spending time with people I love. My enduring advice is start drinking early.”

Anthony Wright, Head Chef at L20 Restaurant at Hugh Baird College, Liverpool, said: “Rest the turkey well. Top hack if you’re not a fan of boiled sprouts, trim the sprouts and shred fine, cook in cream and butter (but not too wet) plenty of salt and black pepper.”

Daniel Grounds, Chef and The Staff Canteen's September Member of the Month said: "I may be a bit late for this one but all I can say is get ahead. Brining your turkey is the best way to make sure your plate never sees a piece of dry turkey. Once par boiled, shake your potatoes to fluff them up, let them air dry and sprinkle a thin coat of flour over them before putting them in your tray of hot fat. I promise a super crispy exterior and fluffy interior. If having yorkies, make the batter the night before and store in the fridge! As I said...get ahead!"

Alex Standen, Head Chef at The Concorde Room, said:“For Christmas dinner I will be making the gravy the night before and par boiling my potatoes for roast the night before, so heat hack just try to get a few jobs done the day before.”

The Sqaure Bistro, who were announced TSC Awards 2022 Front of House Team of the Year, said: “Our number one hack is try to enjoy it as much as possible and not to stress too much. Prepare as much as possible on Christmas Eve so you have less to do on the big day. Prepare your veg & gravy etc. Have a plan for the big day and a running order for your cooking. Remember always have a glass of wine to hand.”

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 23rd December 2022

Essential Christmas dinner hacks for 2022