Keep calm and carry off a great Christmas Dinner – top tips from the Chez Nous chef who will be catering for 60 on the big day

By Peter Trollope at

“The golden rule about Christmas, is not to panic, especially in the kitchen” says Ian Carr head chef and patron of Sale’s Chez Nous Bistro,

“It is very daunting cooking the Christmas meal – if you let it get to you  –  but as long as you are prepared and flexible you can win the day,” says Ian, who will be cooking for sixty guests at Chez Nous.

“It is the first time we have opened on Christmas Day due to the demand – and I am really looking forward to it  – we will be cooking traditional meals like Turkey, but offering lamb and fillet of Beef and also a Cranberry, Walnut and Almond roast as a vegetarian alternative.

“My professional and personal advice is not to heap pressure on yourselves, keep to a plan, and allow time for any problems that develop along the way.  Keep things simple and fresh.

“You can’t beat fresh food, and that’s something we pride ourselves at Chez Nous – you won’t find a frozen vegetable in our kitchen – I am a really obsessive chef, and I always use the very best produce from local traders and distributors.

Chez Nous, proud of its urban feel in a suburban location…

“A really common mistake is to overcook sprouts – we are not used to cooking them, and so in many homes they are left stewing in the pan…and the result is a disaster.  Sprouts are incredibly versatile and rewarding dish if cooked the right way.

“Simple things like roast potatoes really benefit from goose fat and rosemary to bring out the flavours – we will be serving up roast turkey with clementine stuffing, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes topped off with a red wine gravy as one of our dishes on offer on Christmas Day.

“Many people are traditionalists when it comes to the Christmas meal, but they like to experiment with side dishes, and you can find some incredible recipes for gravy – the essential things for gravy use some of the meat juices.

“I have been cooking for then past 39 years  – my first job was delivering fruit and vegetables for my Dad and then I got a job at 16 in a Bowdon hotel kitchen – and I was hooked – there was no other job I wanted to do – my dream always was to have my own restaurant and be the head chef. I am living the dream at Chez Nous.

“Most chefs do not own their restaurant but I like it this way. It means  I have a unique bond with all our customers. It means that I am fully committed to them and Chez Nous  in the future.”

The Bistro’s has a deserved growing reputation for good food and service and is looking forward to a very successful 2018.

“I have been here for nearly three years and we have transformed the restaurant and the service and ambience – now we are on top of our game – you can sense a real buzz of expectation and excitement around the place.”

Ian’s tips for the perfect Christmas Meal.

Chez Nous Brussel Sprouts

If the sprouts are still on the stalk twist off and trim any loose, and damaged leaves, wash them and trim their base. Do NOT waste time putting a cross in the base – it just wastes time and is not necessary.

Blanche the sprouts in boiling water and then cook them for at least two minutes, and then transfer to frying pan add to smoked bacon, and gently heat up and then serve with herbs.  Another option is for garlic butter to be added.

Chez Nous Roasties

Blanche the potatoes in boiling water – and let the potatoes part-boil, and then drain with a colander and making sure to remove any excess water on the potatoes, and then drench with Goose fat and rosemary.  Keep the oven temperatures up, and frequently turn over the potatoes and repeating goose fat and meat juices,  Serve after draining goose fat etc,


Red  –    Pinot Noir  – try a French or Chilean variety – ideal match for Turkey – fresh light palette and red berry influences makes this wine the right choice.

White  –   Cotes du Rhone – with its light, gentle fragrance and texture, also try a Reisling  for the perfect accompaniment ..

For more details of opening times and menus go to