Christmas is almost always everyone’s favorite holiday. It signifies the end of a long year and is the reason for many parties, celebrations, and good meals. While everyone has their own traditions, we just can’t help but wonder what would part of our Christmas spread if we had the chance to make new ones–so we asked some of our favorite food writers what their ultimate Noche Buena meal would be.
Sanjeeb Gopaldas, Table for Three, Please
What or where we are eating isn’t relevant as long as I am with my family. That having been said, assuming I am with my family, I always like to have 2 roasts: lechon, and turkey. Chestnut stuffing, giblet gravy, candied yams, fresh cranberry sauce. My mom’s homemade lasagna and black paella. For dessert, my sister’s (Roshan) Mexican trifle served with fresh brewed coffee. This is what we have every year during Christmas Eve and it’s what we all look forward to, as we celebrate another year of health and being together as a family.
Cheryl Tiu, Lifestyle Asia and Philippine Star
This year, for some reason, I am craving blinis with caviar, freshly shucked oysters and lots and lots of rosé champagne! They just put me in a festive mood. But you know what, I’m happy with anything, just as long as I get to spend with family, loved ones, and of course God. Although some rosé won’t hurt.
Alicia Sy, Town and Country
To start with, I am a firm believer that it’s not a party without a pig! That said, my ultimate Christmas feast would definitely have a lechon or cochinillo as the center star. I would also include a nice roast bird- capon preferably. As it is the season for feasting, I would also love to have some baked Mont d’or French cheese with crusty bread and ripe, fresh figs. With the cheese I would like a simply dressed salad of assorted mixed greens and a plate of Joselito Jamon iberico. When it comes to Christmas dessert I am a traditionalist – a plate of Christmas cookies – buttery shortbread or alfajores will do the trick, some rum cake, or make that an orange cake spiked with Galliano liqueur and slices of fruit cake for posterity. Oh, and plenty of champagne – rosé for me, please. My champagne of choice is Ruinart, but if someone gave me a bottle of Salon, it would be most welcome.
Jin Perez, Jin Loves to Eat
My dream noche buena feast starts with binagoongang lechon from Pepita’s Kitchen (BOOM!), prime rib roasted for hours and hours, the fattest crabs sauteed in olive oil and garlic, Peewee Morato’s paella negra, and a spread of Filipino favorites that I thoroughly enjoy but take for granted the rest of the year – Nanay’s pancit malabon, Via Mare’s bibingka with salted duck egg, Nathaniel’s buko pandan, Dulcelin’s mango torte, Amber’s pichi-pichi, homemade hot tsokolate, ube halaya on everything, and ending it all with my ultimate Christmas dessert – Roshan’s rich and chunky food for the gods ice cream. BURP.
Leslie Cheng, Shoot First Eat Later
This Christmas we will be having an ultimate feast with family and friends at HK Intercon Hotel’s scrumptious buffet with at least 3 kinds of lobsters, a bounty of oysters from around the world and as much foie gras as I can eat. A buffet is not my ideal way to celebrate but those dishes would be part of my ultimate meal.
Cyrene de la Rosa, F&B World, TV5 Interaksyon
My ultimate Christmas Feast would have either a selection of new dishes that I would like to try or a selection of old favorites. I’d limit it to a selection of locally sourced favorites. That will most likely include Michele Dee’s Seasonal Christmas Ham and Monique Roxas’ roasted lamb with homemade mint jelly. My favorite craft beers, wine and single malt will definitely be part of it too.