Risotto is a dish that people try to avoid when having guests over. Why? Because as the host, you also want to spend time with your friends and risotto has a reputation for being time and attention consuming to cook. Who wants to be in the kitchen most of the night when they can hear laughter coming from the other room? I’m guessing not you.

But wouldn’t you want to impress your friends when you bring out plates of creamy, steaming hot, delicious smelling risotto for their main? I know I would, and believe me, they are always impressed.

So here are my solid tips on serving risotto at your next dinner party:

Choose an easy to follow and tested recipe. This is always important. Never–and I mean NEVER–make a dish for the first time on the day you are having a dinner party. This is simply a recipe for disaster. So choose a recipe way beforehand and test it out, because then you can adjust it to your liking, or find a better recipe if it doesn’t work for you.

Now that you have a recipe, make sure you prepare all the ingredients. Measure your rice, wine and stock, chop your vegetables and protein, and bring your stock to the boil. Most importantly, prepare a wide, shallow dish or tray that will fit the risotto in a thin layer and will also fit in your fridge.

Start making the risotto. Most risotto recipes start with sautéing eschallots and garlic in oil. Do not burn, sweat them until soft without color, otherwise you’ll either get a burnt or raw after taste in your risotto.

Follow the rest of the recipe only until your rice is al dente. Meaning, do not finish cooking, but cook it until it almost ready. Now you have to be quick.

Transfer the risotto in the tray that you prepared earlier. Spread it out until you only have a thin layer. Then trace crisscross lines along the risotto with the wooden spoon and place it in the fridge to cool down completely.

When you’re ready to serve. When you’re ready to serve, bring your leftover stock to the boil. In a wide pan place 1/4 cup of hot stock for every 1 cup of risotto, then add the cold risotto. Stir to loosen it up and finish it according to the recipe you’re following.

Lobsters are known as a luxury food item globally, and if you go to a restaurant and order a live lobster from the tank, you should be ready to pay a hefty price by the end of dinner. However, if you have access to a very good fish market, you may be able to save on the hefty price tag and cook lobster at home for a special occasion. The next question is, how do you then cook a lobster after purchase? Should they be alive when purchased or dead?

Look, as a general rule in restaurants, lobsters are always purchased live. This is because once a lobster dies, they spoil quite easily, and can cause severe food poisoning. So if you have the fridge space at home I would buy the lobster alive then put it in a container with ice in the fridge. The low temperature in the fridge or freezer disorients the lobster, and makes them easier to handle. Bring a pot of salty water to the boil then dunk the lobster in, a kilo of lobster takes about 12 minutes to cook, and each 500g adds 5 minutes.

If it’s illegal to boil lobster where you live, your other option after putting the lobster in the fridge is stabbing the lobster in the space between the head and body then splitting it straight in half lengthwise. I hate this method because I have to physically stab a live animal, so I prefer the boiling method.

I love this dish because let’s face it, it’s absolutely impressive. I like adding caviar and pairing with champagne. It’s absolutely perfect for a romantic dinner at home or to cook on a special occasion. I add this dish to my catering menu when I know it’s a sit down and a special occasion, and people just love it and never forget it, and my clients don’t even mind the hefty price tag and most of them even add-on the optional caviar.

The sauce is a beurre blanc. Beurre blanc is a classic French white sauce made by reducing white wine, bouquet garni and French eschallots then adding butter while whisking constantly to make a rich and creamy sauce. The key is to not bring the liquid to the boil to avoid splitting. When done correctly, you get a shiny sauce that hugs each spaghetti noodle without running all over the plate.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve done any justice to this dish with the photos that I took, because this is me plating it and shooting it right before dinner. Next time I plate this up for a catering function, I will make a note to take a nice photo, but for now, this is the homely version of this beautiful and delicious lobster spaghetti. Don’t forget to pop the champagne! Happy eating!

Difficulty: Medium

Lobster Spaghetti

Serves 2



0/5 Instructions
  • Cook pasta according to packet and set aside. In a small sauce pot, place tarragon, eschallot and white wine together. Reduce until the liquid is halved. Drain and discard the tarragon and reserve the eschallot. Place the liquid back in the sauce pot.
  • Heat the liquid back up and start adding in the cold butter cubes gradually while whisking continuously. Keep whisking until the liquid starts to thicken. Do not bring the liquid to the boil or it might split. When the sauce has emulsified, take off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  • Take the flesh of the lobster from the shell and reserve the head. Cut the lobster to bite size pieces.
  • Heat the sauce up in a medium pot that could fit the pasta, lobster and sauce. Toss the pasta, the eschallots and lobster in the warm sauce until everything is coated. Season with salt & pepper, sprinkle with chives.
  • Twirl the pasta using a carving fork and place on a long platter. Use the head as a garnish, making it look like the pasta is the lobster's body. Sprinkle with chopped chives. If using caviar, place the caviar on top. Serve immediately.

Oh hello! How was your week??? Here in Sydney, everything is starting to feel more relaxed, and as we approach Christmas, restaurants and hospitality venues have increasingly become busy. Hence, the scarcity of my posts. As a professional chef, I find I get exhausted at the end of the week to the point that I can’t think of what to say on my posts. My job can be physically demanding and time-consuming, but I suppose most jobs are, and I just need to make time by being more efficient with handling my free-time. How do you organise your free-time? Do you have a passion project just like me and are finding it a challenge to stay on top of it because of work and life in general? Or have you gotten it down pat and have some tips for me? I would appreciate any thoughts.

Anyway, today’s recipe is my glazed meatloaf. I’ve been meaning to share this for months but couldn’t get the right photo. I just think photos are so important for a food blog like mine, you see, we eat with our eyes, and if the photo doesn’t look good enough, then you guys wouldn’t want to make it right?

Why should you try this recipe? Meatloaf is such a simple dish, but when done right, it’s such a comfort food. This recipe is moist and flavourful and that’s why I think you’ll love it.

I love it because I get to use up my old bread. But if you don’t have old bread, then feel free to use crushed crackers, or breadcrumbs. Old bread soaks a lot of the juices and leaves the meatloaf moist, if you prefer using breadcrumbs, use panko crumbs because they soak up more liquid.

I also love it because I can cook it and freeze half. People find it ironic, but I don’t always have time to cook fresh dinners at home despite cooking being my main job. So having some frozen meals keep me and my husband fed when we don’t feel like eating out or takeaway. I prefer making meals ahead so I’m sure I know exactly what I’m feeding my family. So you see, if you’re meal prepping, or have children, this recipe is great for you too!

Oh and the thing I love most about this aside from the taste, is that I don’t have to chop the onion and carrot. I just use coarse side of my grater and I’m all set! I grate directly into the bowl so the juices don’t get wasted, remember more juice=more flavour!

I always say that when you make something simple you have to make sure the quality of the ingredients are very good. So I like using Cape Grim beef mince from Tasmania, but any good quality mince from the butcher should give you good results. I like using regular mince not lean mince because fat gives this dish good flavour and moisture. So what do you think? Would you give this recipe a shot? And if you do, don’t forget to comment below and tag me in the photos!



Glazed Meatloaf

serves 5


    For the meatloaf
  • For the glaze


0/4 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a loaf pan well. In a bowl, mix all the meatloaf ingredients except for grated parmesan. Mix well and pack into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Cook at 180C for 45mins. Take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile make the glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients except the parmesan.
  • Strain off excess liquid from the loaf pan then run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the meatloaf. Transfer meatloaf onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush the meatloaf with prepared glaze and cover with grated parmesan. Put back in the oven for another 30 minutes when the cheese is melted and glaze is darker in colour.
  • Serve with my velvety mash potatoes and a salad.