Everyone has their tips for the perfect Christmas lunch.
From how to stuff a turkey to whether Brussels Sprouts really need those little crosses put in the bottom, there are a million different ways to prepare what is arguably the most important meal of the whole year.
So we thought who better to get some last minute advice from than celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo?
Although admittedly, what we weren’t banking on was Gordon telling us he’s actually trained his kids to cook the entire roast (“I’m not waiting until I’m f**king 70 or 80 to get my kids feeding me through a tube. I want it done now”) and that Gino’s main piece of advice would be to “get pissed”.
Delia, look away now.
Gordon Ramsay’s tips for the perfect Christmas lunch
“First of all, the most important thing is to just put a timetable down. Don’t study it religiously in a way that you have to follow it minute by minute, but just sketch out the morning, from 8am through to midday.
“The pressure for everybody to eat at 2pm is too much. I prefer having a brunch and then not serving lunch until 4-5pm in the afternoon where you get yourself some time.
“The vegetables – the carrots, parsnips and potatoes – can all be blanched the day before so when you pick them up in terms of roasting them, they take 45 minutes from half-cooked.
“And then the secret is to let that turkey rest. It goes in at 8am, it comes out at 11:30am to midday; turn it upside down and let it rest. And then, if you can make the gravy the week before, add those resting juices to that gravy. That means it’s so much less stressful on the day.”
Gino D’Acampo’s tips for the perfect Christmas lunch
“Number one, don’t eat turkey. Choose something else – choose something that you actually like. Second of all, don’t get stuck in the kitchen. Do easy stuff and don’t bother overcomplicating things. And number three, always have a glass of wine in the kitchen so you get pissed at Christmas.
“Also, don’t get stressed. Some couples fight on the day because they have people coming around and he hasn’t done this and she hasn’t done that, nobody talks to the children because mum and dad are super busy. What kind of a Christmas is that? That’s not a Christmas, that’s a nightmare.
“And my tip for the perfect roast potatoes is get someone else to do them.”
Do Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo cook on Christmas Day?
“Do you know what? When the kids were three, four and five, I very naughtily bought them all turkeys,” explains Gordon. “So they understood that they had to prep that bird, really look after it, season it, and then, of course, cook it. Now, as teenagers, they know how to cook – not just brunch, lunch and a great dinner, they know from top to bottom.
“I’ve got this perfect little tailor-made brigade that absolutely functions systematically from Christmas Eve right through to Boxing Day.
“I’m not waiting until I’m f**king 70 or 80 to get my kids feeding me through a tube,” Gordon adds. “I want it done now.”
Although Gino says that he does “some” cooking on Christmas Day, he only does the main bit of the meal. “I do the cooking that I like,” he says. “I don’t like cooking potatoes, they’re boring. I don’t like doing deserts, that’s boring. I like doing the main thing: baked seabass under a salt crust that I cook in my fire for four hours.
“I like proper food. I don’t understand why people feel the need to have roast potatoes,” Gino says. “It fills you up, they get stressed when they cook it. Find something else! Something lighter, something tastier…”
What do Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo eat on Christmas Day?
“We opt for a late brunch because we only eat twice across that day,” explains Gordon. “There’s just too much pressure to start getting everything ready for one o’clock. So we’ll do scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and Tana [Gordon’s wife, Tana Ramsay] takes care of all of that.
“Then when it comes to eating in terms of the lunch, we eat late – 4:30pm or 5pm – and we have a filet Beef Wellington. And then maybe turkey on Boxing Day.”
Gino, however, brings a distinctly Italian approach to his Christmas. “I have seafood, fish and pork – tasty food!” he exclaims. “My family and I alway fly to the island of Sardinia. Six months of the year I’m always there.
“I’m not the kind of guy who follows rules or opens a book and follows the book,” continues Gino. “I’m not interested. I do what I want to do. If I want to get up on Christmas Day and I want to make soup, I make soup. I follow the philosophy of what is the thing that makes us happy. If you want to have soup on Christmas Day, then f**king make a soup on Christmas Day! Who cares?
“We celebrate on December 24th,” continues Gino. “We do about fifteen to twenty courses of food. We eat the leftovers on the 25th, 26th and 27th – and I’m watching Only Fools and Horses on the 25th eating my leftovers. See now, that is a tradition that should never be lost – watching Only Fools and Horses on Christmas Day.”
Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great Christmas Roast airs Thursday 21st December at 9pm on ITV
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