Jim Nuetzi, Olive Garden Executive Chef,
said his Christmas dinners tend to be more elaborate than Thanksgiving (although that feast was not too shabby: he smoked a turkey and opened one of his best bottles of wine – a 2005 Belles-Graves).
This year’s Christmas menu includes Dijon and Herb-Roasted Rack of Lamb, potato gratin, carrots poached in olive oil and “old fashioned” chocolate cake for dessert, although he has in past years chosen yellowfin tuna or sea bass for his main course.
Chef Nuetzi also intends to open some bubbly: “Christmas is a perfect time to indulge in Champagne.”
To make desserts even more decadent, he said, pair them with wines. “Holidays are for celebration so I would go with a nice Prosecco with dessert. The slight sweetness paired with the bright acid should balance the dessert’s sweetness. But if you want a more traditional pairing, go with a Sauternes.”
On Christmas Eve, he will leave the cooking to others and take his family for a special meal at The Capital Grille after catching a play.