Michelin-star chef reveals how to create the perfect dinner party at home

An award-winning chef has revealed his top tips to creating a Michelin-star worthy dinner party at home. 

Ramon Freixa, 48, who is originally from Barcelona in Spain, has been awarded two Michelin stars for his Madrid-based restaurant, Ramon Freixa Madrid, since 2010.

From swapping dry turkey for guinea fowl, to impressing with a white dish and gin and tonic oysters, the chef, who has recently opened the Hola! Tapas Bar on board the newly launched MSC Gradiosa cruise ship, has shared his kitchen secrets. 

Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Ramon insists these hacks will prevent any amateur cook from serving up a recipe for disaster!   

Ramon Freixa, 48, who is originally from Barcelona in Spain, has revealed his top kitchen secrets. Pictured, stock image

DITCH THE TURKEY 

Ramon, who currently has four restaurants in partnership with MSC Cruises, suggests those hosting this Christmas should ditch the traditional turkey dinner altogether. 

‘To start, try making a Catalina soup with meat and serve as an aperitif,’ he explained.

‘When it comes to the main dish, I find turkey too dry, so try swapping it for a juicier meat like guinea fowl.’

Offering advice on how to prepare the more unconventional dish, he added: ‘Stuff it with black truffle and apply a layer of duck fat over the top layer. Finally, roast with tomatoes and apples  – and voila!’ 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY THE UNUSUAL 

With his bold creations which have won worldwide recognition and two Michelin stars, Ramon is an expert when it comes to throwing a five-star dinner party. 

‘The most important part is good bubbles,’ he said. ‘When your guests arrive, serve some Cava or champagne, or prepare an amazing cocktail.’

Ramon has four restaurants in partnership with the brand ¿ Hola! Tapas Bar on board MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa (pictured), as well as Ocean Cay on board MSC Seaview

Ramon has four restaurants in partnership with the brand – Hola! Tapas Bar on board MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa (pictured), as well as Ocean Cay on board MSC Seaview

‘Later, serve fresh oysters with various toppings – perhaps a Bloody Mary or gin and tonic oyster. You just prepare the jelly of the gin and tonic and it’s really delicious.’

‘Another thing that’s always fantastic is Iberian ham.’

‘My top recommendation for an appetiser is toast and Iberian ham with a drizzle of olive oil and a spoon of caviar on top. It’s amazing. Spanish ham and toast is a winner!’ 

‘Also, I advise trying the Gilda – it’s a skewer comprised of peppers, olive and a good anchovy – and it never fails to impress.’ 

THE SECRET INGREDIENT AND WHAT TO AVOID

While many of us have a trick up our sleeve when it comes to jazzing up a plain dish, Ramon always relies on one thing – olive oil. 

‘Spanish olive oil is very fruity and pairs fantastically well with a good bread,’ said Ramon, who has won multiple awards for best chef and restaurant.

‘All you need is a good tomato, a fantastic olive oil and sea salt. Simple and delicious!’

He added: ‘My heart is the other simple ingredient. Passion creates memorable dishes!’

But along with Ramon’s favourite ingredients comes those he insists you should avoid, as they can take away from the flavour of the dish.

‘Garlic and anything very spicy is a no no,’ he explained. ‘I don’t like very spicy food. I don’t mind a little bit of garlic but too much is overpowering and will undo all the hard work of your flavouring.’

RECREATING THE PERFECT FIVE-STAR DINNER PARTY

Ramon, who has three Repsol Suns and had a host appearance in the 2016 Spanish Celebrity MasterChef final, also added that a key element of a dinner party is not just the food.

‘The company of good friends and family is the most important,’ he explained. ‘The company is necessary for the ambiance in the room.’

‘Next you want high-quality products and easy-to-make dishes.’

The renowned chef also told how you should always serve your dishes on a white plate. Pictured, stock image

The renowned chef also told how you should always serve your dishes on a white plate. Pictured, stock image

‘Don’t be scared of cold dishes like hams, as they allow you to prepare in advance.’

‘The last thing you want is to spend all of your time in the kitchen, as then you won’t get a chance to enjoy the evening with your guests.’ 

THE IMPACT OF A WHITE DISH  

And while many of us may get carried away with the latest rose gold or charcoal trend, Ramon insists you should always stick to a simple, white plate when serving your creations. 

‘Always serve on a white plate as it draws attention to the food,’ he said. ‘Ensure there’s soft and elegant napkins, fancy place mats and a tablecloth too – and get your finest glasses out for the finishing touch.’ 

He added: ‘The table should look very simple and elegant as that will give it that high-quality look – and put a big dish in the middle as the centrepiece.’

‘Serve aperitifs such as ham and caviar on smaller plates for added effect.’

AND DON’T FORGET…

‘Cook and then clean,’ said Ramon. ‘When preparing for others, it should be all about the cooking.’

‘No one wants to see lots of pans and casserole dishes stacked up on the side. Definitely prepare and clean, prepare and clean.’

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