Q&A: Kenny Mackay – Stravaigin

Head Chef talks festive food as Christmas approaches

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Stravaigin Head Chef: Kenny Mackay

How does your restaurant change in look and atmosphere in December? What effect are you hoping for?

The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, full of festive fun with a friendly buzz with quirky decorations in true Stravaigin style.

What are the challenges in catering for larger groups and parties? What works? What doesn't work?

Larger parties require more organisation. Inevitably with more guests coming into the restaurant and café bar, there will be more meals served and more preparation required.

Anything new and exciting likely to be on your December menu this year?

We serve our turkey dinner with a Stravaigin twist. Our mole poblano, a rich Mexican sauce which contains over 27 ingredients including three different types of chilli, has been tried, tested and tweeked over the years to create a secret recipe and brings our festive customers back for more! This year sees the addition of Chilinoron, a Spanish style pheasant and red pepper stew with shallots and chorizo, roast garlic and almond puree, rosemary polenta. It’s sure to warm our customers up on the coldest of winters days.

Any top tips for cooking for a big group at home?

Preparation is vital. If you can prepare as much as possible the day before, including all the vegetables, you only have to cook and enjoy a glass of mulled wine on the day!

OK, a stalk of fresh brussels sprouts has just arrived in the kitchen. What do you do next?

Wok the sprouts on a high heat with fish sauce and pork belly

What's your favourite day of the Christmas season? What are you likely to be eating?

Definitely Christmas day, I will be eating everything including turkey with all the trimmings ... to excess!

Downstairs at Stravaigin

28–30 Gibson Street, Glasgow, G12 8NX

‘Think global, eat local’ is the mantra that underpins Stravaigin’s menus, showcasing the best local, seasonal Scottish produce in innovative ways.

Stravaigin Café Bar

28 Gibson Street, Glasgow, G12 8NX

Full of boho charm, Stravaigin Café Bar embodies the best of bistro dining – bold flavours, creative dishes and competitive pricing on a changing menu.

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