Home Lifestyle NewsArt & Culture News The foodies’ guide to Christmas: where to eat, what to cook and trends to try

The foodies’ guide to Christmas: where to eat, what to cook and trends to try

5th Dec 14 11:32 am

Afternoon tea with oysters and dougnuts, Americana and salsify, pickles galore… it’s Christmas, but not as you know it

David Ridgway, executive head chef at Smart Group, spills the beans (which are, of course, perfectly seasoned)…

My top three food trends for Christmas

Over the last year Americana has exploded onto the London food scene, and restaurants are now drawing on the down-home flavours of the Southern States: authentic grits, collard greens, cornbread and red eye gravy complementing proper fried chicken.

Fried chicken

Last month it was smoking foods, now we’re seeing pickling becoming a favoured technique to enhance flavours and add alternative textures. It’s much more than dill pickles; seafood and even hot dogs are getting the brining treatment.

Pickled food trends

Afternoon tea with a twist continues to be popular and the perfect afternoon’s treat following a session of festive retail therapy. Over the last year there have been some really interesting concept such as BRGR.Co’s burger and doughnuts in place of cucumber sandwiches and cake as well as Sanctum’s ‘Gents’ afternoon tea which pairs poached oysters and seared steak with Jack Daniels and Havana cigars.

BRGR.Co's afternoon tea

BRGR.Co’s afternoon tea

What we’ll be seeing on the festive menu

Definitely some variations on much loved classics, such as a turkey schnitzel with sage butter and roasted sprout hearts.

As we have become more food aware the stigma around offal has lifted somewhat – thanks in part to the exquisite cooking at the world-renowned St. John’s in Smithfield. Offal has a warm, rich and gamey flavour, perfect for the cold winter months. My personal favourite is faggots (meatballs made with liver, heart and lungs) with creamy mash and January King cabbage – a real taste of home!

With all that rich food I usually like something light and fresh to finish, such as a big bowl of clementines, nuts and dates.

The hottest places to eat this Christmas

Mr Foggs cocktail bar, 15 Bruton Lane, London W1J 6JD

The Lockhart, 22-24 Seymour Pl, London W1H 7NL (pictured below)

Lockhart London

Afternoon tea by Zoe Wager, 22-28 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BH

Mission, 250 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE (whose mackerel is pictured below)

Mission restaurant - mackerel

Source: Mission

Bad Egg (Neil Rankin’s latest venture, opening soon)

My signature dish and cocktails for Christmas

>> Sage roasted breast of corn-fed chicken, truffle mash, sticky roast heritage carrots and parsnips, cranberry and parsley crumble

>> Classic Negroni: a potent mix of vintage gin, Martini Rosso and Campari over ice with a twist of orange

Ingredients for Christmas

·        Crosnes (Chinese artichokes)

·        Hazelnuts

·        Kale

·        Oysters

·        Salsify

·        Wild duck

·        Sea bass

David Ridgway, executive head chef at Smart Group

Restaurant reviews & eating out in London

Pachamama sharing plates

Love the Peruvian food trend? Then feast on our review of Pachamama, Marylebone

Manhattan Grill

Review: Manhattan Grill in Canary Wharf

64 degrees restuarant

Kohlrabi, Korean and pickles – discover London’s hottest food trends & restaurants this autumn

Christmas Holly Berries

Five great restaurants doing Christmas Day lunch in London

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