My Christmas: Michael Weldon

When Coles Development Chef and Ambassador Michael Weldon has Christmas with his family, there’s plenty of food and the cocktails come out, but it’s the people who matter most.

Chef Michael Weldon standing in a kitchen

Q: What does your usual Christmas Day look like?

Christmas Day starts at Mum’s place with ham and cheese croissants and some presents. Nana always gives out the presents with the help of the younger grandkids, then we have lunch. We have all the traditional items plus modern seafood dishes. Auntie Jen's pav always steals the show when it comes to the sweet stuff. I love that everyone does some cooking. It’s a team effort and the meal is so much more enjoyable for it. After lunch some snooze on the couch, some continue grazing, some play with toys, and the backyard cricket starts. Dinner is always lighter, usually seafood on the barbecue, some salads and a couple of cocktails.

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

The key to hosting Christmas well is having food available as soon as people arrive: platters with cured meats, dips, olives, etc. Make sure all dietary requirements are covered. Make sure there is plenty of ice and lots of room in the Eskys. And, most importantly, make sure there is too much food and lots of paper plates and foil for leftovers!

Q: Is there one particularly memorable Christmas you could share?

​When I was about 15, I was responsible for most of the food for Christmas for the first time, which was a huge moment from me. The food was served a little later than expected but everyone got fed and loved it. I'll never forget the feeling of being able to cook for all our family and friends on such a special day. 

Q: What are your favourite drinks for Christmas? ​

Champagne, riesling and chardonnay are ever-present at Christmas, plus beers and ciders. Into the afternoon we move onto the gins with all kinds of aromatics, tonics and soda.​

Q: “The spirit of Christmas” – what does this mean to you?

The spirit of Christmas is all about spending time eating, drinking and celebrating with the people we love. Although the food and drinks are extremely important to me, it’s the people you share it with who really matter. This year, more than ever before in my life, it's all about spending time with the people who are special to me.