HOW CHEF JACK LUCAS IS MAKING CHRISTMAS SPECIAL WITH THE CHRISTMAS COOKAWAY.
He’s a MasterChef finalist who knows a thing or two about spreading Christmas cheer with his glorious festive food. Jack joined The Cookaway last year and since then, his Christmas menus have gone on to be awarded Best Christmas Recipe Box 2021, according to Good Housekeeping.
Jack has created a range of spectacular menus that are completely Christmassy but surprisingly easy to make. Even if you are celebrating in smaller groups this year, we think you still deserve to have gorgeous food that has a real sense of occasion.
CHRISTMAS COOKAWAY Q&A WITH JACK LUCAS
We nabbed Jack in the kitchen earlier where he was busy with his elves cooking up a feast. If you fancy getting into the Christmas mood, grab yourself a glass of mulled wine, crank up the carols, and have a read of our chat with Jack below:
Us: Hi Jack, happy Christmas! Do you mind if we ask you a few questions while you make those canapés? What’s your all-time favourite Christmas food?
Jack: Whoa, way too difficult to choose! There are so many delicious things around at Christmas. Big roasts, unctuous sauces, sticky toffee puddings, pastry and cheese, and some great red wine of course. Anything indulgent and over-the-top, really. If you can’t get stuck into some proper grub at Christmas, then when can you?
Us: So will you be cooking a massive turkey this year?
Jack: Afraid not, I’m not a turkey fan. I know some people love it but for me it’s too bland, impossible to cook properly and has to be disguised with other tasty stuff as it’s lacking so much itself. On Christmas day, I go for showcase meals, things like a glorious pastry Wellington, Rack of Lamb or even something a bit more gamey like Venison. Basically, food that you’d never normally eat throughout the year but somehow Christmas brings the excuse and the occasion. And we all have a good excuse to dodge the turkey this year as we are cooking for smaller numbers.
Us: So do you find you spend all day in the kitchen on Christmas day?
Jack: Family time is incredibly important for me and cooking together is all part of that. It’s a time to lay off the smartphone or the laptop and just take the time to spend with loved ones. Christmas always revolves around food so I’ll get up and cook with my Mum, we’ll then walk off our lunch only so we can eat again a few hours later! It seems to go on for a good few days, but that’s what I love the most.
Us: So what do you eat on Boxing Day? Leftovers?
Jack: Our Boxing Day tradition in the past has been for a bone-in rib of beef. It goes into the oven at 10pm on Christmas night at just 55°C and we say hello to the most tender, beautiful meat at 2pm the following afternoon. Although this year I think a five-rib piece of meat may be a bit excessive for six people…
Us: Yum. That sounds incredible. What about the vegetarians?
Jack: Don’t worry, they’re getting a melt-in-the-mouth Goat’s Cheese and Portobello Mushroom Tart. Even the meat-eaters will want a slice of that.
Us: The canapés you have created for The Cookaway look amazing, are they very fiddly to make?
Jack: They look impressive but they’re pretty simple really, because let’s face it, at Christmas we all want to spend some time chilling in front of the telly too, right?
Jack has created a range of Christmas Cookaway menus that are festive, show-stopping, a little nostalgic, and of course, completely delicious. From his indulgent chicken wellington recipe, his veggie-friendly portobello mushroom wellington and his mouth-watering selection of canape’s – they always go down a treat.