If hosting family for Easter has fallen on you this year, there’s no need to stress!
Whether you’re planning a traditional sit-down dinner or a casual buffet, we’ve got you covered courtesy of Jameson Watermulder, owner and executive chef of Rosedale’s Finest. Here are his top tips for throwing the most memorable Easter gathering.
“Holidays tend to be the time where people pay attention to detail; from statement centrepieces and festive flowers, to meal preparation and garnishes. With a little thought and preparation, there are so many ways to wow your guests in a fun and fresh way. Since Easter is the first official spring holiday, it’s always nice to see the everlasting heavy, winter feel transition into light, spring energy,” recommends Watermulder. Think tulips, colourful Easter eggs and green accents for the perfect mix of spring and Easter.
Every family has their own Easter traditions, from religious practices to egg hunts on Easter morning. Create memories that last a lifetime by incorporating age-old family traditions and maybe starting some of your own. “For those families with little ones around, Easter may begin with dying Easter eggs ahead of time and displaying them as the centrepiece for your Sunday night dinner. For others, it may simply mean having family over to make up for lost time over a delicious dinner,” says Watermulder.
“Preparing for a family gathering can be stressful and, depending on your guest count, a lot of work for one person to organize,” says Watermulder. It’s easy to forget and overlook certain elements in the haze of planning a family gathering. “The best way to avoid the stress is either advanced planning or simply choosing to have your meal catered,” recommends Watermulder.
Many recipes can be prepared beforehand, saving you a lot of cooking anxiety on the day, and other elements, such as decorations and table settings, can also be organized before the big day. When considering catering, a common fear is that people will lose traditions in lieu of convenience but many chefs, including at Rosedale’s Finest, work with each person individually to create a personalized menu.
Watermulder says, “the food being served is half the entertainment at a family gathering,” and we couldn’t agree more. It’s very important that there is something for every guest to enjoy, so check in with everyone beforehand for any dietary restrictions.
“Preparing each dish with ingredients that are in season will really create a standout meal. The freshness of these ingredients will give you vibrant colours and a crisp, flavourful taste. Lastly, ensuring each dish and its flavours complement each other to allow for a satisfied pallet,” recommends Watermulder.
If you decide to have someone else do the cooking, it doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate your traditions into the menu. Work with the chef and his team to combine your family favourites with some new and exciting options.