The final, pre-Christmas build up is now upon us and we’re reaching peak excitement levels! As part of our collaboration with the lovely folk at Arnotts, where you can shop for every single loved one under one roof, over the next 12 days we’ll be catching up with some of Ireland’s most familiar names, finding out what Christmas means for them and what they’ll be wishing for. Today we take a time-out with one of Ireland’s most successful foodies, Domini Kemp.
What is your earliest memory of Christmas?
It was of this massive big Christmas tree, decked up to the nines and one of the many large dogs living in our house bounding up and knocking the whole thing over. Smashed decorations and tempers flying. Basically your typical Christmas madness!
Describe your perfect Christmas?
It is the only day of the year that not one of our businesses is open, so we can genuinely relax. We usually are with our in-laws either in Dublin, Milan or London. This year we’re staying at home which means I will get up and make brekkie for everyone (usually scrambled eggs, tea and toast) then a really long walk, before heading over to other relations to say hello and then back home to have a lovely Christmas dinner at around 5 pm. Peaches (my sister ) and I always cook. Cooking for 16 people is a doddle when you are a chef, so we definitely have an advantage over lots of households, so preparations are very chilled as long as the chefs have a glass of something by 6 pm! Presents are done with the kids at the crack of dawn. A really great movie finishes off a lovely day, very nicely.
What do you like most about Christmas – the build up or the week itself?
I actually love a really traditional Christmas dinner: some smoked salmon on brown bread and a glass of Champagne, then turkey & ham and all the trimmings and sometimes I make a dessert, but not often. But it’s sitting down with family and enjoying great food, wine and conversation are what I love the most.
What are the essentials in the Kemp household when it come to Christmas day dinner?
Cranberry sauce and mayonnaise for the next day.
What does Christmas mean for you?
We’re back in work the next day, so it’s a short-lived affair, but really worth it.
What presents are you hoping to buy this year for your nearest and dearest?
I love giving and receiving books. I am also a sucker for beautiful pens and stationary. A heavy duty enamel saucepan is always a really welcome gift, as is a great knife. You can never go wiring for cooks!
Browse the gallery above for Domini’s curated gift guide. For more shopping inspiration, head in-store or visit arnotts.ie online.