December 12th, 2019 JoAnne

Round two: Christmas Leftovers with Welly Chefs

Whilst everyone’s Christmas plans largely change from year-to-year, there are some things that are just part of the festive routine….

Counting down the days until you can finally log off the office PC for two weeks; wondering what the weather is going to do on Christmas day (especially if you’re spending it in Wellington); and indulging in your body weight of holiday kai to the point where you’re unsure if you can face another slice of champagne ham for the fifth day in a row. 

It’s time of excess - especially when it comes to food. And in this Current Climate™, it does us and the planet a world of good to think about how we approach food waste when planning our holiday eats. Think of it as your Christmas pressie to Mama Nature!

Four busy Wellington chefs took time out of their hectic Christmas season to chat about their plans Christmas leftovers, how to reduce food waste, and what they’ll be doing over the holidays, when they finally get a chance to pop their feet up after a very busy 2019. 


Te Awa Johnstone - Karaka Cafe at Wharewaka

What is your favourite dish to create with Christmas leftovers the day after Christmas? 

Boxing Day breakfast fry-up - my mum does the best! Pull all the meat off the bone, chop up all the root vegetables and fry it all up on the barbecue or in a pan with heaps of butter and some onion. YUM!!

What’s a good way of reducing or minimising food wastage around Christmas?

Portion control - think about how much people will eat! Don’t over do it, think about the size of plates, and if you actually need all that food! Use your leftovers to make another meal. 

How do you plan to kick back for Christmas/summer?

Following the sunshine! Spending time with the kids in my family (nieces and nephews) and my siblings. Swimming as much as possible!

Shaun Clouston - Logan Brown 

What is your favourite dish to create with Christmas leftovers the day after Christmas?

Nasi goreng made from leftover Turducken. Carl from Coq au Vin gave me one one year. It serves 15 people. Fifteen people can’t eat a turducken! The nasi goreng is something really different, and we’ve done it two times now! 

What’s a good way of reducing or minimising food wastage around Christmas? 

Don’t buy too much food to begin with. Nothing worse than buying a whole lot of food, then going, “WTF are we going to do with all this food?”!

How do you plan to kick back for Christmas/summer?

We’re heading up to Papamoa, and planning on taking it really easy. A light morning meal, then BBQ’d sausages on bread on the beach in the afternoon.  

Jackie Lee Morrison - Lashings 

What is your favourite dish to create with Christmas leftovers the day after Christmas?

Something that my husband and I love really doing every year with leftovers is ‘fridge buffet’, where you just open the fridge, see what you’ve got, and then try and create a meal from it. It’s like Masterchef’s secret box. It’s a really great way to use up leftovers and creative. 

Sometimes it will be a salad with leftover ham and eggs - if we have potatoes, we’ll throw potatoes in there as well. Or we take leftover potatoes and fry them in a pan until they’re really crispy. Also, you can’t go past a good sandwich.  

We’re not really turkey people, but using any sort of meat or cheese. We always have a few staples on hand, and I like to make sauces - pestos and things like that - to go with in them. 

What’s a good way of reducing or minimising food wastage around Christmas?

People always over cater. What we need to realise is that we just don’t need that much food! So just don’t prepare as much. If you’re going to do six dishes for three people, maybe do three dishes! 

We’re living in a time of waste, and we can all do much better when it comes to reducing waste. People may over cater because the shops are shutting over the holidays, and it feels like the end of days. But they open again pretty quickly after Christmas. Perhaps we just don’t need that much! 

How do you plan to kick back for Christmas/summer?

Lashings will be closed for two weeks, and we’re in the process of rolling out a new ice cream concept. We’re going to be doing loaded ice cream cones, vegan ice cream flavours - we’re open to people suggesting ice cream flavours to us too. So that’s what we’ll be doing over the summer in the shop!

For me, in the two weeks that I have off, I’m going to do a lot of sleeping, and I’m going to make my husband cook for me, because he’s a good husband. And we’re going to have lots of barbecues, so I hope the weather is nice!