Chef Wandile Mabaso.
Chef Wandile Mabaso.
Image: Simz Mkhwanazi

WANDILE MABASO (Les Creatifs Restaurant)

I’ll be doing a lamb spit braai with the works. A selection of salads — bean and Moroccan chickpea, potato salad, Mediterranean roasted veg salad and of course some summer greens. For those who aren’t up for lamb, there’ll be Chipotle chicken and grilled yellowtail too. Gourmet chakalaka, and freshly baked breads and butters will feature as sides to round off the meals.

RYAN COLE (Salsify at the Roundhouse)

Christmas time is pretty unconventional in our house. We do a staan rib — scored lamb ribs seasoned with coarse salt and a simple French dressing — cooked on a really low fire. The rule is that it has to be cooked for at least three hours — that’s always a staple. Then there’s the random snoek (because we always pull one or two out Cape Point side this time of year). A very basic cook, with curry powder and apricot jam, braaied nicely and turned into roosterbrood. Those are the two things we always cook during the holidays, where we all sit around the fire catching up on the past year.


Chef Christina Semczyszyn.
Chef Christina Semczyszyn.
Image: Supplied

Every year I do the same dinner contribution: debone an entire turkey, then brine it overnight — which is a bit of an ordeal, but I feel like it’s worth it. The next day I stuff it with pork and sage, roll it tight and roast it. I roast the bones and use them to make a big batch of stock for gravy, and Boxing Day turkey soup. The rolled turkey is fabulous because you get a little bit of white and dark meat, and stuffing in each slice. It also takes up less space in the oven, which I feel is always a source of Christmas Day stress.


We’re heading to the beach between Christmas and new year. Our Christmas lunch tradition is to begin with a starter of fresh crayfish; followed by roast duck from our family farm, Brightside, with a sage and bread stuffing; rolled pork belly (roasted on the Weber); and plenty of wine. For dessert, a good ol’ brandy pudding and home-made custard. After Boxing Day, we go deep sea fishing — which is then turned into tuna sashimi, poke bowls, fish burgers and the odd crayfish roll (served on homemade brioche) for the next few days.

JOHANNES RICHTER (The LivingRoom at Summerhill)

We’re actually having the same meal we sent out in our LivingRoom Christmas baskets. For starters, we’ll be doing hot smoked Lesotho trout served with rhubarb and beetroot. For mains, we’re going super classical with the whole course revolving around duck a l’orange that we’re making together with molasses carrots and a potato souffle. Dessert will be a five-spice pineapple with cultured cream, and old-school German-style Christmas cookies.

MATT MANNING (Grub & Vine/The Chef’s Studio and Culture Wine Bar)

After a difficult year, I think we all deserve a little spoiling, so I plan on going all out for Christmas this year. I will be whipping up my slow-roasted pork belly with honey-glazed parsnips, crispy crackling and roasted sprouts with Richard Bosman’s bacon and smoked walnuts. This will be paired with Radford Dale’s “The Antidote” Gamay Noir. For dessert, I love a good trifle, which I make to my nan’s recipe (with my own “cheffy” spin): layers of brandy-soaked Victoria sponge, Chantilly cream whipped to a cloud-like consistency, lemon curd vanilla custard and raspberry compote with honeycomb glass — to be enjoyed with a glass of Iona “Noble Late Harvest 2016”.

Chef Matt Manning.
Chef Matt Manning.
Image: Tegan Smith Photography.


This festive season, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family — and of course my beloved little dachshunds. One recipe that I’ll definitely be making is my halloumi and peach salad: it’s my go-to summer salad recipe, and perfect for the festive season.

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