Christmas time is around the corner and it means giving and receiving thoughtful gifts, spending time with friends and family, and throwing Christmas parties with dining tables groaning under the weight of delicious treats. But these aforementioned treats are usually a result of manic, stress-filled hours in the kitchen that will have you questioning your decision to throw the dinner party in the first place!
Chef Sneha Singhi Upadhaya agrees and shares a unique problem that she faces during the holiday season as an award-winning chef with over 800,000 followers on Instagram. “Everyone wants variety and new things every single time! And the thing with Instagram is that, you know, someone or the other has always done it, right? There isn’t anything so new to invent! But I somehow try and come up with a way to make it different by either making it healthier, or more indulgent or plating it differently!”
Despite the constant pressure, the Le Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef loves the holiday season and not just because of her major sweet tooth. “I love Christmas. I love celebrating with family, friends and stuff. But there is one thing that I’m particularly proud of,” she says, “I have this Instagram series called ‘The Homecoming’. It’s like a giveaway for my followers and those selected can come over to my house and enjoy a meal that my mom and I have cooked. I’ve done it three times already and we do different cuisines. This time, we’re doing a Christmas brunch. I’ve invited 60 of my followers and it’s something that I’m particularly proud of because my followers give me so much love and I want to share a meal with them more than anything else.”
So how does a professional chef deal with the stress of cooking delicious dishes for Christmas brunches and dinners? According to Chef Sneha, the answer lies in simply writing things down.
“How that helps is, whenever you have it written down and then start ticking everything that you’ve done, you’ll find that you’re much more relaxed when it comes to actually preparing the dishes,” she says. “If everything is being made at home, then I start chopping and getting everything ready one day prior because nothing is going to get spoiled. You’re going to just chop it all up and put it in the fridge. Then whenever you’re ready to use it, you just simply toss it and start. So, one main thing to do is segregate all ingredients recipe-wise. That makes your life so much easier.”
There you have it! Try Chef Sneha’s hack and save yourself all the blood, sweat and tears this time around!