Head chef for Hello Fresh, Patrick Drake.

Head chef for Hello Fresh, Patrick Drake.

At this time of year everybody starts to struggle with managing their time and so for a lot of people that means takeaways, takeaways and more takeaways. Not anymore. Cue the award-winning recipe box delivery service Hello Fresh to the rescue.

Amazing recipes are created just for you and the ingredients and cooking instructions are delivered right to your door. What more could you ask for? This is the saviour for those busy bees out there as the typical recipe from Hello Fresh takes only about 30 minutes to prepare and doesn’t require any fancy utensils!

Patrick Drake, Hello Fresh’s head chef shared his top tips for your festive dinner party. After following his advice you’ll be whipping up restaurant-quality meals before you know it.

1. Hold your horses

One of the greatest crimes in the dinner party world is to cook everything in advance so you just have to re-heat it on the night.  Pick a starter that take minutes to make on the night (scallops work really well) and give yourself a stress-free day and your guests a bit of kitchen theatre.  Besides, fresh food is always much better than pre-heated!

2. Give it a break

Like all things, your meat is best when rested.  Premature cutting will mean that all those juices run away so leave the meat for a few minutes to let the juices spread throughout the meat.

3. Avoid the chills

Christmas is the perfect time to put some spice into your cooking.  Chilli, star anise and cloves are great for mulled wine and can work even better in cooking.  Therefore, get adventurous, not only will your food sing with flavour but your kitchen will be filled with the scent of Christmas!

4. Stop poking!

Poking your meat, pushing it down with your tongs and continually turning it over may make you feel like a dinner party pro, but most likely you'll end up squeezing out the juices and leaving it dry.  Keep your hands busy with a glass of festive fizz instead.

5. Get creative

Dinner parties are your chance to throw caution to the wind. If you can't test a dish out with your family and friends then when can you?  How about using chestnuts with chocolate for the perfect pud?  Or even adding a few pinches of cinnamon to a lamb tagine?  It won't be long before you reach culinary stardom!

So now that you’re a pro at hosting dinner parties why not order a Hello Fresh box every week to keep your standards high. Move over Patrick Drake we will soon have some new chefs in town. 

Jessica Lindley - Female First