For chefs, the festive season can be one of the most profitable times of the year, but also one of the most challenging. Use our inspiring ideas and recipes to help you with key seasonal dilemmas!
The holiday season is all about big groups of family and friends getting together. Among these groups, you’re likely to have a variety of dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and healthy/low calorie diners.
Catering to these diners is all about effective planning. For example, with your mains, instead of planning 3 or 4 meat options, go for 1 or 2, alongside a fish and vegetarian dish like Stuffed Butternut with Pesto.
A memorable holiday dining experience has to be authentic and delicious, and that doesn’t always equal a traditional turkey roast!
For non-Western restaurants, combining traditional festive ingredients with those typical to your cuisine in meat rubs, stuffing or sauces can create exciting dishes. For inspiration, try this Cranberry & Date Leg of Lamb.
If you’re a casual dining outlet, add a couple of turkey-inspired specials. Turkey can easily be worked into salads, pizzas, pasta and burgers, like these Turkey, Brie & Cranberry Sliders.
Reduce your waste by transforming festive leftovers into new dishes for the next day’s menu.
Bubble & Squeak is a classic leftover dish, and great for using up excess vegetables and meats. Turkey leftovers can be made into Turkey & Polenta Cakes, which are ideal as an appetizer or a daily special.
Depending on the type of outlet you are, the festive period can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
If you’re in it for the long haul, be cost savvy with your seasonal offerings: add only two or three new dishes, or have a festive weekly special.
Shorter festive offerings often mean grander feasts, and higher diner expectations. Christmas Day is when diners will tend to spend more and want to be spoiled more with their food choices, so a rich dish like Christmas Lobster Thermidor is a sure-fire hit.
For Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, diners prefer light dishes that are easy to digest.