December 18, 2018


The holidays are here, and that means celebrations galore between now and the beginning of January. While some families prefer to sit around a home-cooked meal, others will look to dine out and take a break from playing host.

One way for online culinary students to showcase their creativity and marketing prowess this season is to offer lunch and dinner specials straight from the screen. This year, or next, consider putting one or more of these classic holiday film dishes on your menu (don’t worry, we left out spaghetti and syrup from “Elf” and Kevin McAllister’s microwave macaroni and cheese).

Roast Beast from ‘The Grinch’

The nice thing about Roast Beast is that it can really be anything you want it to be. Coat a classic strip loin with a garlic-herb rub in mold of this recipe from Epicurious. Consider putting together some Roast Beast sandwiches or sliders for your younger customers to munch on. Swap out the beef for turkey for a classic herb-roasted bird. Or how about this sumptuous rosemary garlic pork roast, courtesy of My Kitchen Love?

Alternatively, you can go with something a little more classic and classy, like a roast goose from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the holiday goose took a backseat to ham and other roasts, but it may just be poised for a comeback. Draw inspiration from Jamie Oliver’s slow-cooked goose recipe, which practicably sings Christmas carols with its clove, ginger, cinnamon and star anise rub. If you get it right, you might just get a Dickensian Yelp review – something to the effect of, “There never was such a goose … Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration.”

Make Chinese roast duck plan A this holiday season.Make Chinese roast duck plan A this holiday season.

Chinese roast duck from ‘A Christmas Story’

This year, when your customers come in because a pack of dogs broke into their kitchen and ate the holiday turkey, be ready to save the day with some roast duck. As an especially flavorful type of poultry, there’s no dearth of creative ways to prepare a good duck. In the spirit of the classic film “A Christmas Story,” you might go with a traditional Cantonese roast duck per the Spruce Eats, lathered with a rich marinade that includes green onions, ginger root, garlic, hoisin sauce and Chinese rice wine.

If you’re on the prowl for something a little simpler to start with, consider looking to the south of France for inspiration. Slow cook a duck with green olives and Herbes de Provence, as per this recipe from Food & Wine. It might not be Chinese roast duck, but it’s a slightly more forgiving recipe, and your customers will likely appreciate the opportunity to try something new this holiday season.

Chocolate biscuits and banoffee pie from ‘Love Actually’

Compared to other classic holiday films, the more modern “Love Actually” had surprisingly modest food cameos. But we give the film credit for bringing some dessert options into the picture – however briskly – the first of which is the prime minister’s favorite, chocolate biscuits. Inspired by the film, a blog called Feast of Starlight created a simple but elegant recipe for thin chocolate biscuits that bakes in 15 minutes. But don’t feel confined to this recipe. You can also get away with making a chocolate shortbread cookie, or any type of chocolate cookie really, and calling it the prime minister’s chocolate biscuit.

Finally, there’s Juliet’s banoffee pie. It’s in the frame for a whole two seconds, but this is still as good a reason as any to become acquainted with this classic English dessert. True to it’s name, a banoffee is made from bananas, cream and toffee over a buttery biscuit crumble – and it will go great with a side of coffee or tea. Check out this simple recipe, courtesy of the BBC, for inspiration.

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