As the executive chef at the African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel in Cape Town, Tamsyn Wells is well acquainted with preparing complicated meals in multiple courses for large amounts of people. And that’s why she is the perfect person to give you some handy advice to make your festive cooking journey a little less tiresome this year.
By Roxy Greeff
1. Write up a check list in advance (this weekend is perfect!). This way, in the panic of the day you won’t accidentally forget something.
2. Start prepping your food on the 24th. Also, go shopping this weekend if you can to avoid the last minute rush. Salads, desserts and even your gammon can all be prepped the day before.
3. Make sure your shopping list is comprehensive. Double and triple check that you have written everything on there. The queues are bad enough, and the last thing you need is a second trip to the store for one forgotten item.
4. Go for universally-liked flavours. Most guests will enjoy berries, lemon, fresh herbs and chocolate. Stay away from chilli, veggies like asparagus and artichokes and strong cheeses. You want to have as little guest fussiness as you can.
5. Put all the condiments on the table, from pesto and preserves to tomato and sweet chilli sauce. A lot of people have a fave that they eat with every meal, and having it all ready and waiting prevents you having to run to the kitchen to retrieve requested condiments.
6. Cook what’s in season. There is an abundance to choose from in December. Go for local produce and your grocery budget will get cut right down.