Chef Monica Galetti’s Festive Food Tips
As this year’s MasterChef: The Professionals drew to a nail-biting finale i spoke with one of the show’s judges, New Zealander Monica Galetti, to find out what she made of this year’s contestants, her tips for people thinking of entering next year, and how home cooks can prepare for a perfect Christmas feast.
Galetti tells the UK newspaper that the show had a great year.
“There’s always the surprises with the chefs and the skills and how they get on, but the standard has been amazing. It’s getting better and better each year,” she says. “The numbers of entrants is always good, we’ve had a few more women coming in this year, which is great to see. It would be great if more women applied next year, but I think that women can be more reserved when it comes to applying for a competition on television.”
In 2017, she and her husband, sommelier David Galetti, opened their restaurant, Mere. Galetti also finds the time to co-present Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby with Giles Coren.
“I’m also working on a cookbook about home cooking that will be released next year.”
On Christmas Day, Galetti spends time with her family.
“I close the restaurant for a few days – everyone deserves to spend Christmas with their families. Sometimes we’re in the UK, sometimes we spend it in France as my husband is French.
“I’m not a turkey fan – I’m more into goose or duck, with a dessert we keep it simple, my daughter might make a cake or a pavlova, which is tradition from where I’m from in New Zealand. We’ll have a nice cheese selection, we love our cheese and my husband will be in charge of this, he’s also in charge of all the wines, being a sommelier. It would be disappointing if he didn’t, my god, there would be a hell of a complaint. We’ll open a bottle of Champagne in the morning – we’ve created a bottle especially for our restaurant, our house champagne, so it’ll be that.
“Make sure you have everything at hand – be prepared,” Galetti recommends home cooks over Christmas. “With the vegetables, you can prepare them on the day. Make the sauces a couple of days beforehand too and keep them in the fridge, so then it’s just a matter of warming it all up. With the turkey, make sure you brine it the day before. Being organised means you can enjoy the day more, rather than being stuck in the kitchen.”
Original article by Laura Martin, i, December 19, 2019.
Photo by BBC.