Top tips for catering a South African Christmas party.

Sunny skies, blue horizons, a veranda-based celebration, and a delicious home-style menu packed with a mix of traditional and local delicacies... now that sounds like the South African Christmas we know and love.

Are you in charge of putting together the Christmas menu this year? Whether it’s for lunch on the big day or any time during the silly season, our top tips will make sure that, when it comes to the catering, your party is more festive fare than frazzled fuss.

Tips for catering a South African Christmas party

1. Decide on the style

Bring and braai? Buffet lunch at home? Or classy Christmas platters for your work colleagues? Whatever your party style, use this to inform your menu and make it fit with a ‘local is lekker’ choice of foods, from SA inspired canapés (biltong and cream cheese, anyone?) to desserts with festive cheer (marshmallows on the braai never disappoint).

2. Food that’s familiar but fantastic

A South African Christmas menu demands a mix of traditional festive fare (think turkey, gammon, fruit cake) but served with a local twist that takes into account the weather, the setting, and the guest list. Hot summer’s day buffet? Think cold gammon slices with sweet potato salad rather than a boiling hot turkey and roast potatoes. Instead of pudding with custard, dress up a cool milk tart or go for a Christmas themed cupcake tower.

3. Serve it right

A beautifully laid table (complete with festive feel crockery and decorations) is key to providing a Christmas meal filled with cheer. Choose a colour and decor theme, carry it throughout your setting, and add touches of it to your meal. And don’t forget the wrapped chocolate balls – a South African table tradition!

4. Cheers to the drinks

Your drinks should complement your menu so make sure you take your meal plan (as well as your guests’ personal tastes) into account when pairing the food with the drinks. From cocktails to champagne, raise a glass to a delicious meal surrounded by special folk. And don’t forget the non-alcoholic options. Or the professional waitering staff.

5. Get the help you need

Entertainment? Waitering staff for a corporate do? Clean up crew? Novelty cake? Sometimes it’s best to call in the experts to make sure your party goes off without a hitch. From a professional caterer to a creative cake maker, expert help can ensure that your event runs smoothly and successfully. Be sure to hire suppliers who are familiar with South African foods, drinks, and settings.

Christmas, like any special occasion, can be a wonderful time to make special memories and spoil those you care about. If it’s all sounding a little too stressful (or you simply don’t have the time), call Food Matters. We can make your meal and your cake (for any event, from wedding to social celebration), and serve it up too, leaving you free to enjoy the festivities.

Christmas party catering? We know just how to give it a South African twist.