Food hacks for the Christmas table


Whether you’re feeding one or 100 on Christmas Day, you’ll find inspiration for your table at this week’s Christmas Fare. We’ve bought together 45 food purveyors who make quality handmade goods, from fresh cheese to Spanish-style nougat, with the express aim of making you look good. Not only will you be supporting small food producers who use local produce and keep traditional methods alive, but your guests are going to love the fact that the food tastes as good as it looks.

Here are some of our Christmas Fare food hacks.

Put festive colouring on repeat

Start the day with red, white and green twisted Brooklyn Boy Bagels (and their ready-made eggnog) or Farmer Jo’s Christmas Granola, an oat-y, nutty sensation studded with white chocolate and cranberries. Fill your largest jug with ice and a good pour of Currong Comestibles’ cheery red Riberry Shrub for a sublime mocktail. Break out the cranberry, almond and pistachio Los Lacoyos Nougat whenever you need a sugar hit.

Ham it up and go retro

We’re keeping it classic and rubbing our ham with Bilpin Bush Honey and hot mustard powder, which we’ll decorate orange slices held in place with cloves. Putting a swig of apple cider in the baking tray will keep the ham moist.

Have fancy treats on standby as a diversion when tempers fray

Alfamores’ Argentinian alfajores, delicate biscuits filled with dulce du leche and festive gluten free donuts by Nútie – check Rudolph the Red Nose reindeer and the white chocolate snowflake donuts.

Stash the good stuff

Having half-a-dozen handmade pies from Miss Lilly’s Kitchen in the freezer will seem like a good idea come Boxing Day.

Turn up the heat

Before throwing prawns on the barbie, marinate them in Eat Me Chutney’s tamarind chutney (also goes well in a ham and cheese toastie); roast a whole snapper in SpiceVine’s Curry Leaf Crush; or use Chunky Dave’s chilli peanut butter to make a satay sauce (find the recipe here).

Keep it simple

Little embellishment is required when you serve Pecora Dairy’s handmade sheep’s cheese: it’s a pure, unadulterated pleasure.

Champion the vegetable

Cornersmith’s beetroot and ginger chutney is headed for cult status. It takes a grain salad (just fold it through) or pan-fried haloumi from ho-hum to Ho, ho ho.

Make sure the finale is over-the-top

Take the pavlova, trifle or late-night ice-cream to a whole other level with a drizzle of Gumnut Chocolates’ salted caramel sauce or shards of their raspberry chocolate bark. Make a very indulgent chocolate mousse with Cicada’s Gianduja, a hazelnut praline bean-to-bar chocolate. Make an ice-cream sundae with Black Pantry’s soft marshmallow pillows, Chunky Dave’s Peanut Butter, Cicada’s chocolate and a dollop of jam from Jam Bandits.

Take the measure of the traditional pud

It’s not too late to rustle up a Christmas pud (or start one for next year) and our own Colonial Gastronomer Jacqui Newling can give you the lowdown – and give you a taste.

Need more inspiration? The food at the Christmas Fare has been handmade by the person selling it to you, so they’ll be full of suggestions on how to serve it; you only need to ask. 

About the Author

Image of Barbara Sweeney
Barbara Sweeney
Food Writer and Talks Host
Barbara writes about food – as a columnist and feature writer for Country Style magazine, writing about her...
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