My Christmas: Clooney's Tony Stewart

One of our favourite restaurateurs shares his plans for the festive season.

Tony Stewart of Clooney. Picture / Babiche Martens.

The big day... Christmas Day is pretty casual - barbecue, bubbles and nice wine. There are presents in the morning. We live vicariously through our son. It's more about him than anything else.

On the table... A combination of a brined chicken and a really nice piece of meat, which will be rotisseried. The rest is pretty fresh and simple. Asparagus, tomato salad, lots of strawberries, condiments, trifle, Christmas lilies and my wife makes crackers to pull. Another thing I really look forward to is my mother's Christmas puddings.

The gifts... I give gifts to all of my staff. That's definitely high on the priority list - finding something that's meaningful to a huge group of people without buying individually. My wife and I keep it pretty low-key. We're not a big gifty family. I used to be one of those people who would shop madly. It doesn't really appeal as much these days. We'd rather put it away for a decent holiday... it's all a bit too commercial.

Clooney at Christmas... We've had such a huge November and December that we're going to close for five days after Christmas and five days after New Year to give everyone a decent break. Des [Harris, Clooney executive chef] will take the days in between too. Sometimes you've got to do that. It's a bit consuming at this time of year.

Holiday plans... Family time in Riverton and, if I have been really good, seven days' skiing in Japan. I think everyone needs one of those happy places and this to me is the biggest relaxation. Every year I'm going to try and have a little break to myself and go skiing.

Share this:
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

Subscribe to E-Newsletter