Christmas - Taste of things to come

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What pub chefs will be putting on the menu this Christmas

Mark Taylor asks pub chefs what they'll put on the menu this Christmas

Paul Berry, head chef, Green Dragon, Haddenham, Bucks

"Turkey is very manageable, easy to deal with and it produces a good GP. We stuff the legs and use the bones for stock. We usually have three or four turkeys on the go each day. We serve it with traditional accompaniments, such as pigs in blankets. We try to stay away from salmon as so many other places have it on the menu. We'll be using halibut this year - it holds its price well at Christmas, which is good because you still have to make your GP."

Sam Byatt, the Swan, Chesham, Bucks

"This is our first Christmas here. We want to make it affordable for all so we're doing three menus at different prices and there'll be three dishes for each course. Our chef, Nelson Linhares, has come up with a number of alternatives including roast partridge and pheasant."

Paul Smith, the Fountain at Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

"To give people more choice we price each dish individually. This year we're doing turkey escalopes rolled and stuffed with a brandy sauce. This year our fish dish is Salmon Raj,

which is grilled salmon with a tikka crust. We're also doing minted lamb Wellington and fillet steak with seasonal berries. We'll also be doing our homemade Christmas pudding ice cream because we sold so much of it last year."

James Lightfoot, the Castle Inn, Chiddingstone, Kent

"We put goose on the menu last year and it didn't sell very well so we're sticking with turkey this time. Personally, I'm sick of turkey and would rather have duck or goose, but then everybody says they're bored of turkey and everybody still orders it! We bone and roll the turkey, stab it with

lard so it stays moist, and roast it. We'll also be doing lamb or beef and just keeping everything simple."

Nick Seckington, White Hart, Nettlebed, Oxfordshire

"The best alternative to turkey is venison. We're doing a nice rare loin of local venison with braised red cabbage, truffle glazed parsnips and a nice jus. We do venison and turkey on Christmas Day and we've noticed that the older

customers are ordering venison and the younger ones turkey. More people are also going for fish. I think that will increase over the next few years."

John Dalby, Blue Lion, East Witton, North Yorkshire

"When I cook Christmas dinner at home, I prefer goose and I've found that even though we're a very busy pub, we don't sell a lot of turkey at Christmas. We don't go that big on the Christmas thing at the pub and we sell far more pheasants and partridges at Christmas. We're known for our game and we sell woodcock, teal and mallard. They all sell well. There's definitely an increased interest in game generally. We sold more than 300 grouse alone this season."

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