Exclusive Q&A with Donna Hay – Christmas Feasts and Treats

To celebrate the release of Donna Hay’s brand new Christmas Feasts and Treats: Your go-to-guide for a perfect Christmas, we caught up with Donna to talk all things Christmas and of course cooking over the festive season.

Image of Donna Hay festive book
Image credit: Harper Collins Publisher

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Q: Your Christmas Feasts and Treats book is gorgeous, what decided you on a festive theme?
A: I really am a complete Christmas tragic! I love to cook at Christmas not only because I love all the fabulous Christmas flavours but it’s such a lovely time to be together with family and friends. That for me is what good food is all about… sharing it with the people you love.

Q: Who or what influenced you most throughout your career?
A: I’ve always loved cooking – even when I was just a little girl. I used to help my grandmother in the kitchen, baking cakes or picking fresh herbs from her vegetable garden. Many of my happiest memories are food related!

Today, I just love creating beautiful food content that really resonates with people or that inspires them to try something new, so I find inspiration everywhere. Busy people inspire me, creative people, people who master a craft – and of course my two boys constantly inspire me!

Q: What’s your go-to Christmas recipe?
A: No… You can’t make me choose one! I’m a classics girl at heart so I’d have to say my glossy cheat’s glazed ham and signature turkey breast.

Try choosing recipes that aren’t too complicated and within your skill level – after all its Christmas – you should be having fun!

Q: 3 Ingredients you couldn’t live or cook without?
A: There’s no way I could survive without lemons, parmesan cheese and broccoli.

I have been cooking Christmas lunch for everyone for as long as I can remember – seriously, I think I was maybe 13 when I started. Christmas is all about tradition in my family and my grandmother’s Christmas pudding was always a focal point of our Christmas gatherings, it’s a memory I cherish – so I bake it every year, just the way she taught me.

Q: And the questions we always ask: What’s Christmas like in the Hay household?
A: In Australia, Christmas Day falls in the summer when all the kids are on their six-week school holiday break, so it’s always a crazy fun time. I usually start Christmas Day with a refreshing swim at the beach – followed by too much food and loads of laughter.

Donna’s new book can be bought online from Amazon for £15 and will be out in November.

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