Seven fabulous Brisbane identities share their Christmas Day foodie traditions. Yes, there’s champagne, turkey and presents — but it’s also about giving back to the community.
What are the foodie traditions and the top wishes of some of Brisbane’s best food lovers? Try a sleep in, someone to do the dishes and no cafe problems to worry about.
Campos Coffee Queensland Director Eugene Phua will be spending a cool Christmas Day surrounded by family and friends, with the solar powered air conditioning turned on full blast.
“Mum always makes her super special shepard’s pie packed with goodies and topped with the words ‘Merry Christmas’ made with short crust pastry,” says Phua. “Another tradition of ours is that you’re not allowed to leave until all the food has been eaten. The part I like most about Christmas Day is that none of my cafes are open so nothing will go wrong. Oh yeah, and spending that precious time with my family!”
It’s going to be a big Christmas day for award winning caterer Jerome Dalton of Dalton Hospitality. With up to 20 people expected for his family Christmas, food preparation will start four days ahead and end with a bulging table of traditional English foods.
“We start with unwrapping the presents and playing with the new toys then it’s brandy alexanders followed by a huge lunch of goose from a goose farmer in Samford,” says Dalton. “There’s ham and all the trimmings, then generally some old ports and a sleep before tucking into left overs and fruit mince pies.Great memories.”
For Michael Dalton of Fino Food & Wine, Christmas Day is all about family and tradition.
“We always have a late lunch consisting of a cold soup followed by ham, turkey then Christmas pudding,” says Dalton. “Our family are champagne nuts and Christmas day is a perfect time for us to drink all we can.”
Cake queen Judy Cook will be a long way from her ovens at Cakes by Judy C. “The day will be quite relaxed starting with breakfast, a baked pancake with berries, maple syrup, bacon and a good coffee,” says Cook. “Then it’s time to pop the turkey on, prepare the potato bake and salads, call my Mum, text everyone. It’s presents before lunch, then it will be lunch drinks, games and a movie, probably with a little nap. Oh, I hope my kids do the dishes.”
Antoinette Pease of Paddington Deli and Epicerie says a beach Christmas is on her list.
“We have small children so no sleeping in for us, and we open the presents very early,” Pease says. “For breakfast we always have ham off the bone and fried eggs. I love nothing more than a quick nap after Christmas lunch followed by a swim with the kids.”
Harold and Christine Fleming will be shutting up the Bun Mobile and spending Christmas Day working with other volunteers at Auscare at West End preparing lunch for the less fortunate in our community.
“We’ve worked with Auscare at Christmas for many years and enjoy the day immensely,” says Fleming. “That’s our tradition. We have a large family and will be celebrating Christmas this year on Boxing Day. What do we like the most? Just being with our family, eating great food, opening prezzies, watching our grandchildren opening their presents.”
Chef and owner of the newly opened Putia Pure Food Kitchen at Banyo, Dominique Rizzo says she’s also been giving back to the community for the past couple of years.
“I volunteer at the Salvation Army preparing food and helping cooking Christmas dinner,” says Rizzo. “They host a huge Christmas dinner feeding the homeless and anyone in need and this year are tipped to feed 500 people. It’s an amazing event to be part of, so rewarding and fun. I feel the least I can do is help during such a festive fun time for some, but difficult and trying time for others.
“If I was with the family, we normally get together for breakfast or lunch we all bring a plate or couple of dishes as part of Christmas breakfast or lunch. That has been our tradition for years now. I get together with my family all the time and we are all very close, so for me Christmas is not an important event for that. I feel that my values have changed greatly over the years and now its about helping others and sharing what I have.”
How will you spend Christmas Day? What are your traditions for the day? What part do you like the most?