By Sasha Ramnarine
Food is an integral part of the holiday season and entertaining family and friends tends to add to the festive ambiance.
Culinary students at Humber’s North Campus go “all-out” for the season, and even receive training to cater to the holidays.
“What my mom’s friend usually does, since she’s Christian and celebrates Christmas, is make plum cake, which is basically like your regular sponge cake,” said Akash Swar, a first-year culinary student.
According to Swar, when it comes to making holiday inspired pastries, alcohol is a main ingredient and plum cake is no exception.
“You soak it for a day or two, probably longer, just to extract more flavours. Because once you bake it, it’s obviously going to evaporate the alcohol,” said Swar. “You need to get the flavours absorbed in your fruits and nuts. So you can do that, it’s a very simple dessert and it’s popular.”
Swar points out that one does not need to be Christian to enjoy festive foods during the holiday season.
“I’m not Christian but the program trains us in not only preparing meals but hosting and catering as well,” Swar said. “So I could host a Christmas party with the knowledge and training I have.”
Swar considers turkey to be a classic holiday meal also.
“I would say a turkey dinner is popular for a Christmas meal. Tips for preparation – clean it really well or get a turkey that’s been pre-cleaned for you so you don’t have to go through the trouble.”
“And you can make a simple marinade to go with it – cranberry sauce,” added Swar.
For those yet to experience a traditional Christmas and who want to satisfy their sweet tooth, without having to go to the trouble of making everything from scratch, head to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.
The Fairmont Royal York is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to host dinners catered to a traditional, Canadian Christmas.
The hotel’s pastry chef Joseph Chan is offering “festive delicacies,” including an array of indulgences, such as petits fours, gourmet gateaux, miniature pastries and the featured dinner menu includes slow-roasted Ontario turkey, caramelized apple and turkey sausage stuffing, cranberry and orange marmalade, all prepared by chef de cuisine, Amira Becarevic.