How I Christmas with chef Luke Mangan

Chef and Coles Ambassador Luke Mangan spends Christmas Day… at work! But one memorable year he celebrated in snowy New York.

Chef Luke Mangan standing in his restaurant
"After lunch I had a horse and carriage ride through Central Park"

Q: What does your usual Christmas Day look like?

First thing in the morning I call my Mum, family and friends and wish them all “Merry Christmas” then head into the restaurant, have a coffee with the team and get ready for a big Christmas lunch service. Christmas Day is the busiest day of the year. After lunch service we all sit down as a team and have Christmas lunch together and then we are open for dinner and we do it all again! I then head home and watch my favourite Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.

Q: What do you eat?

When I was growing up it was quite a traditional Christmas lunch with prawns, ham, turkey and Mum’s amazing Christmas pudding, which she would always make a year in advance. And, of course, a pavlova covered in mango, passionfruit and banana.

Q: Is there one memorable Christmas you could tell us about?

One of my best Christmas lunches was in New York City about 10 years ago. I woke up to snow falling followed by an amazing Christmas lunch at Jean-Georges restaurant. After lunch I had a horse and carriage ride through Central Park all the way back to my hotel doorstep. A great experience and ate way too much.

Q: Any tips on how to be a great host?

Do as much food prep as you can beforehand. To help, Coles has released amazing new products for Christmas to save you time. Some of my favourites are the salmon, the lamb saddle and the pavlova. Less work for you and gives you more time with friends and family.

Q: “The spirit of Christmas” – what does this mean to you?
Definitely giving to those most in need. Helping, good cheer and Christmas decorations.