A Christmas Feast

Christmas cooking tips from Cornwall Life's Masterchef's past, present and future, and what they enjoy doing over the festive season

Christmas cooking tips from Cornwall Life’s Masterchefs past, present and future, and what they enjoy doing over the festive season

Andy AppletonFifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay

“Chopping the veg, preparing the stuffing and setting the table the night before will all free up time on the day”

Once Christmas Day service is over, all of the Fifteen Cornwall staff who have been on shift will sit down and enjoy a lovely meal together. If I was at home having lunch, my choice would be goose and my favourite Christmas tipple is red wine. My top Christmas cooking tip is that Christmas Day lunch is all about good planning. To avoid being completely frantic on Christmas Day, prepare as much as you can the night before. Chopping the veg, preparing the stuffing and setting the table will all free up time on the day so you can relax with the family.

Arty WilliamsThe Cove, Maenporth

“Buy the best local vegetables available”

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On Christmas Day, after lunch service, we will be sitting down at The Cove, on the terrace, enjoying Oysters Kilpatrick (served with bacon and Worcestershire sauce), followed by sirloin of beef with all the trimmings and then to finish, honeycomb parfait. My favourite tipple is a great bottle of the Italian red wine,Barolo. My Christmas cooking tip is to buy the best local vegetables available.

Paul AinsworthNo. 6 restaurant, Padstow

“Put as much effort into the vegetables as you do the meat”This year I will enjoy a traditional festive dinner of turkey and a second meat, most probably beef, with all the trimmings on Christmas Eve with my family. As far as Christmas cooking goes, put as much effort into the vegetables as you do the meat and roast potatoes, such as make a cauliflower cheese with truffle oil and parmesan, try saut�ed leeks and Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon pieces and chestnuts.

Kim CoulsonPolgoon Vineyard, Penzance

“Get everyone to help and make Christmas fun!”

We will be celebrating Christmas at Polgoon. It’s a real family time for us and with four generations living on our farm, there’s plenty of help with Christmas cooking. We have a turkey each year from a friend in Newlyn. For us, Christmas is all about family and having time together and good food along the way. My top tip is enjoy it, get everyone to help and make it fun, it’s a special time so don’t spoil it worrying about perfection; family time is too precious. Merry Christmas!

Ben BassThe Old Quay House, Fowey

“Rest the meat and take the wishbone out of the bird before cooking, as it’s so much easier to carve the breast”

After working in the restaurant over lunchtime on Christmas Day, I will spend the rest of the day with my girlfriend. At Christmas I enjoy a good port or Madeira with a cheese plate, and a rich red wine with the main Christmas meal always seems right. As for a cooking tip, try and get everything done the day before – vegetable prep, stuffing, desserts – because no one wants to be stuck in a kitchen all day over Christmas. Always rest the meat and take the wishbone out of the bird before cooking, as it’s so much easier to carve the breast.

Matt CornerThe View Restaurant, Millbrook

“Plan ahead with your cooking, stay organised and clutter-free”

This Christmas I’ll be in Whitsand Bay surrounded by family (and presents hopefully!) With luck, my brother and I might be able to sneak off for a surf, antlers and all. Champagne is my choice of drink at this time of year. My Christmas cooking tip is to plan ahead, stay organised and clutter-free.

Kevin VinerViners Bar and Restaurant, Summercourt, Newquay

“Prepare vegetables the day before and microwave them on the day, the microwave acts as a steamer”

My favourite Christmas tipple is sloe gin or mulled wine. I will have Christmas lunch at the restaurant, eating up some of the leftovers. My top Christmas cooking tip would be to prepare the vegetables the day before and microwave them on the day, as the microwave acts as a steamer.

Mark PuckeyThe Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

“Delegate individual elements of the meal to visiting dinner guests”

This year I will enjoy Christmas with my family at my sister’s cottage near Looe harbour. For our festive tipple, we like to start Christmas Day with a nice bottle of champagne, and then wine with the meal. In terms of cooking, Christmas Day need not be stressful. Prepare as much as possible the day before, even delegate individual elements of the meal to visiting dinner guests. Oh, and stay off the sherry until the turkey is out of the oven!

Kit DaviesCastle Restaurant, Bude

“So you can enjoy the day, get as much preparation done as possible in the few days leading up to Christmas”

We are having a family Christmas lunch of turkey and all the trimmings at my mother-in-law’s house in Morwenstow. Everyone brings something and my task is dessert, so I usually make something simple like an apple crumble, with apples from her garden, and cinnamon and honey ice cream. I love drinking spiced rum at this time of year – I find it really warming. My top cooking tip, so you can enjoy the day, is to get as much preparation done as possible in the few days leading up to Christmas.

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