Today’s Christmas With The Chef’s chats with Oliver Dunne about festive traditions. Dunne has worked in some of the world’s best restaurants, and in 2003 came back to Ireland to open Mint restaurant. In 2006 he opened his own restaurant in Bon Appetit in Malahide, which has evolved into a restaurant, wine and tapas bar and a cookery school. In 2013, Oliver opened Cleaver East in The Clarence Hotel. His ethos of producing simple but amazing dishes using the finest local produce makes him one of our favourite chefs, but his awards speak for themselves. He is Ireland’s youngest chef to receive a Michelin Star.
What is your first food memory of Christmas?
My first memory is definitely my mother’s sausage meat stuffing. My brothers and I used to fight over who got the crusty end piece and who could eat the most. I was the third of four boys so it never worked out to well for me!
Can you tell us a little about your Christmas celebrations, and what it means to you?
Christmas is very short lived for me. It’s the busiest time of year for me so I generally work right up to Christmas Eve and then I have a few drinks and have a relaxing night with my family. Christmas is all about the kids for me and I love watching them got more and more excited as bed time arrives
Do you follow your mother’s recipe for Christmas dinner or have you evolved?
I do for the stuffing but everything else I do myself.
What unusual addition is unique to your Christmas feast?
I don’t follow the usual Irish Christmas meal as all my clan head to grannies Stephens day and she does the full Turkey and Ham spead. So I change it up every year depending on who we have coming over
What are your top three tips for a person cooking their first ever Christmas dinner?
1. Prep and cook all the veg and ham the day before and leave very little to do on the day.
2. Have practice run on everything, no point in trying all new stuff Christmas day and making a mess of it you only have one Christmas a year!
3. Book a Christmas masterclass with me at www.bonappetit.ie and I will teach you everything.