«I love making Prime Rib with Garlic Horseradish Crust.» Heather Scholten, USA, food blogger,Farmgirl Gourmet
«Grandmother’s tortellini, obviously in broth.» Chiara Maci, Italy, food blogger and writer, Sorelle in Pentola
«My mind is always drawn to the dishes resonant with a white Christmas, such as stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce, crisp roasted potatoes and a rich steamed pudding with lashings of creamy custard. The reality is that it's summer here in South Africa during Christmas time, and while we've enjoyed all those European dishes too, our family is embracing lighter, more regional fare these days - grilled seafood in harissa butter, Karoo lamb chops seasoned with rosemary and garlic and done on the braai (barbeque), ice cream puddings, semi-freddo made with granadillas and saffron or a platter of chilled watermelon, cherries and litchis, for instance.» Ishay Govender, South Africa, food blogger, Food and the Fabulous
«It has to be goose. It’s traditional (in Britain, anyway), it’s moist and flavoursome, and it won’t be so big that you’re eating dried-up in sandwiches of it for days/weeks afterwards.» James Brennan, UK, food journalist
«Gravlax, it's one of my favourite dishes and perfect for Christmas. It's easy to prepare, really festive and can easily feed a large group of people. I normally use the recipe by Nigella Lawson.» Elizabeth on Food, Holland, food blogger and restaurant reviewer
«I love the traditional Dominican Christmas feast that includes potato salad, coconut rice with pigeon peas and my favorite, roasted pork shoulder, so tender it falls off the bone!» Marnely 'Nelly' Rodriguez, Dominican Republic, food blogger, Cooking with Books
«A bit of a traditionalist, I'd have to say a beautifully roasted turkey. There's nothing more stunning and pleasing to the eye than that crisp, golden skin displayed on a platter! I've enjoyed mixing it up in recent years, though, like eating Christmas goose while in Germany.» Aimée White, Canada, food blogger, Food, Je t'Aimée.
WHICH IS THE FOODIE GIFT YOU'D LIKE TO GIVE OR RECEIVE?
«I love giving homemade canned jams for the holidays» Heather Scholten
«I gave all my relatives a tin box full of filled chocolates, toffee candies with fleur de sel and vanilla cookies. All homemade by me! What would I like to get? The vacuum packer! I’m experimenting with cooking at low temperatures.» Chiara Maci
«This year, I was determined to make home-made edibles that were simple to execute, thoughtful and big on impact. I featured a series on the blog with infused oils, instant perserved lemons, and other ideas including super-quick edible gifts you could give in jars. I'm an advocate of the W.F.P and in particular, Wefeedback as well as a local feeding scheme and often support a mother or child on behalf of our Mums. You can do this easily here. It's a gift I sincerely encourage you to give.» Ishay Govender
«The perfect gift to give would be an all-expenses paid trip to a top restaurant, such as Combal Zero or Faviken. The perfect gift to receive would be the restaurant itself.» James Brennan
«I love making vanilla products to gift, so I start infusing vodka with vanilla beans, as well as making vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.» Marnely Rodriguez
«This year I baked for everyone, so I thought those decorated, cardboard baking moulds were absolutely genius. Bakeware and gift wrapping all in one! I used several of them to bake Christmas bundts and mini-loaves for friends and family. What would I like to receive? That's a dangerous question! The lusty appliance of my heart these days is a food processor.» Aimée White
A "FOODIE" WISH OR HOPE FOR 2012?
«My foodie wish for 2012 is to continue on this amazing path that I’m on.» Heather Sholten
«My resolution? To cook, cook and cook! Not just at home, though... but that part’s top secret!» Chiara Maci
«My hope is for each of us involved in food and wine on some level, to become aware of the power of our own voices and to use them for more than just procuring the best, organic produce for our own families. We must share both our meals and our knowledge. The fight for a hunger-free world starts with each of us. In fact the responsibility for turning things around, lies heavily on the shoulders of those with plenty. It's a burden and a privilege; please follow my Giving Back page for ideas on how you can be involved in real change. Oh, and more laughs and less intimidation in the kitchen for all!» Ishay Govender
«I sincerely wish that the use of culinary foam for foam’s sake gets outlawed in 2012, and all perpetrators of such a crimes are sent to work for a year in a carwash. See how they like foam then.» James Brennan
«Lunch or dinner at Eleven Madison Park in NYC.» Elizabeth on Food
«I'm looking forward to spring on Martha's Vineyard, the start of the season here, new farms to explore and maybe even my own garden!» Marnely Rodriguez
«That 'eating local' is not just a trend, but a lifestyle for the food community and beyond. I hope it's a trend that's here to stay.» Aimée White
THE BEST CHRISTMAS DISH YOU'VE EVER EATEN?
«The best Christmas dish I’ve ever eaten was one year when I made Beef Wellington. It was phenomenal.» Heather Scholten
«There are a few, the first turkey I made, brined Nigella-style to commemorate our new house that took a year to build. It was my first test drive of a dream kitchen built from scratch and there may been have been a few tears too. Possibly because I had no idea how the ovens worked. Far too much food for two, but a joyous feeling. When we were kids, my mother made a black-as-night, rich steamed Christmas pudding brimming with nuts. Oh, how it took all my willpower not to launch at it before Christmas day!» Ishay Govender
«My mom’s Christmas pudding. No pudding can beat it. Back to the lab, Heston.» James Brennan
«Many years ago I made a Turkey Wellington (recipe by Gary Rhodes). It was a lot of work but it was delicious and looked amazing.» Elizabeth on Food
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.
The story of baked Alaska is much more than one of cake and ice cream. It’s a story of war and exile, scientific endeavour, and, depending on how you look at it, either political buffoonery or political astuteness.