My New Year’s Eve menu was developed during a pleasurably drunken afternoon with Matt Day, who runs an Italian cookery school and represents Mumm champagne. I’m glad he told me all the technical stuff at the beginning. By the third bottle it was like devising a menu with Noel Fielding while embarking on a three day LSD bender; fantastical matches which turned out to be not so practical for real life.
Matt: “I know, why don’t you give an ostrich egg to each guest and make them eat fondue out of it”
Me: “Genius!” Peers at glass, wonders how much 30 Ostrich eggs would cost “What am I drinking now? Hic!”
Matt: “Yeah and give each table a big sparkly hammer so that they can smash the gingerbread house to pieces at the end of the meal”
This last suggestion has been taken on board however and I spent three days making a village, or perhaps a favela, of gingerbread houses. It wasn’t easy. My advice: straight walls, light roofs, proper right angles, make construction less jerry-built. Also you will need far more icing sugar to stick it all together than you can possibly imagine. Buy at least five boxes. You will spend a good deal of time holding things together with your fingers waiting for the icing to dry and propping up the walls with different height tin cans and glasses.