Andrew Rudd has turned a lifelong passion for food into a successful and expanding career, primarily providing cookery demonstrations, private catering and fine dining to food lovers nationwide. He has recently opened Medley, a new concept in venue hire and private dining. His new book ‘Entertaining with Andrew Rudd’ is available at all major retailers nationwide.Here, Andrew shares his top tips for Christmas entertaining, and some of his delicious recipes.
What is your first food memory of Christmas?
In about 1978. I was about 5 and we had a Children’s Christmas party at our house in Moneygall. My parents friend Donald Swan arrived on a white horse dressed as Santa. It was magic.
Can you tell us a little about your Christmas celebrations, and what it means to you?
Christmas is a great time in our family, as it’s the one time in the year that we get together as a family. My sister Joanna absolutely loves Christmas and is in charge. We now theme Christmas. Last year we all dressed in onesies. (I have a picture if you need one). It’s great fun and so relaxed. We tend to play party games after Christmas lunch, then just lounge in front of the TV for the night.
Do you follow your mother’s recipe for Christmas dinner or have you evolved?
Yes, of course. My Mum still does the cooking on Christmas day, even though we all help out. The staple dinner has not changed since I was a child. I love it.
What unusual addition is unique to your Christmas feast?
To be honest, nothing really. The only difference is that we theme it. Generally with costumes these days. At home, the menu has not changed in years.
What are your top three tips for a person cooking their first ever Christmas dinner?
Plan ahead. Prep all your ingredients and in particular you vegetables a day in advance. You ham can be cooked and sliced in advance as well. Just reheat and keep it moist on Christmas day.
What are your top tips for cooking a turkey?
Make sure that you weigh it before you cook it. This is important to get the cooking time right. Also, be careful not to overfill the turkey with the stuffing. In Medley when we are doing Christmas menus we use Turkey crown. It so moist and tender, and cooks relatively quickly.
What are your top tips for cooking a ham?
My Mum has always cooked the ham the day before Christmas. We have always had a boned and rolled ham. Sliced it, and wrap in tin foil. Simply reheat in a Bain Marie of water in the oven on Christmas day.