“Having people over for brunch is low-pressure entertaining. No one expects a multi-course extravaganza, so if you do anything better than cereal, milk and putting the kettle on, you’re set to impress."
“Ah Spain, land of long lunches, late nights and humble but heartwarming recipes. I love the bold flavours (think tomatoes, pork and paprika), the absence of fuss and the warm, colourful mood. You just know you’re going to be smiling as you eat this food."
“Chinese food is all about sharing a multitude of dishes, so even when the ingredients are humble and the preparations simple, it feels like a lavish banquet. I’ve plucked from different regional cuisines (Cantonese, Sichuanese and Shanghainese for the most part) but the dishes all work well together."
“I can already hear the hubbub when I look at this menu: people are clinking glasses, toasting health and happiness and generally making merry. With most dishes easy to make ahead, you can relax and be the life of the party."
“Don’t tell the other chapters, but I think this might be my favourite. Perhaps because ladies don’t gather as often as we might like, I do get excited by proper catch-ups around a table of lovely food."
“Busy lives make it all too easy to decide we don’t have time to entertain. We do! This menu makes it especially easy to chip away at cooking tasks ahead of time so that the occasion itself is all about being together and enjoying.”
“Fragrant, colourful and tasty, Indian food ticks all the entertaining boxes. This menu roams mostly in the north and west of this huge and diverse nation, with judicious spicing that highlights the core culinary elements. Indian ingredients are essentially humble so this isn’t an expensive menu."
“Great chefs around the world use Thermomix and this chapter is inspired by their magnificent creations. I believe that with a Thermomix on the kitchen bench we can all cook like top chefs – here are the recipes to prove it."
“Whenever I make anything vaguely Mexican, I feel like inviting people to share it. The flavours scream fiesta and it’s easy to stretch the food to feed extra mouths. This inclusive cuisine incorporates native flavours and European imports: any menu that starts with gin and ends with churros is good with me!"
“My Christmas memories are of laden tables, wonderfully chaotic lunches and, as the afternoon eases into evening, armchairs occupied by snoring men! It’s a tradition based on togetherness and seasonal excess. A bountiful menu is at the centre of it all.”
“A grill, a gathering, fresh air threaded with smoke… barbecues are wonderful things. I love their easy sociability, the drop-in and bring-a-plate ethics, and the free-flowing talk-to-everyone vibes. "
“Come over, bring the kids!” That’s the mood behind this menu, which will please eaters of all ages, with a few little flourishes specifically for children and for grown-ups. The pastry ‘wands’ are a kid-friendly concept, but you might like to add chilli flakes to the allotment for grown-ups."