How to create a flawlessly festive menu this Christmas

Ever noticed how time seems to accelerate once the second half of the year begins? It starts with the odd mention of ‘Christmas in July’ and before you know it, the busiest period in the hospitality calendar is upon us. So what’s the secret to a winning festive menu? We believe it’s a blend of good planning, being smart with ingredients, and a willingness to have fun with flavour. Let’s break each of these down further to help your business thrive this silly season, minus the side serve of stress.

It’s all in the planning

Planning and preparation are keys to a good performance, be that in a meeting, on a stage or running a really busy meal service. Meeting diners’ expectations during the festive season not only ensures they enjoy their Christmas meal or function, but it also makes them more likely to book a table at other times of the year. In other words: loyal patrons are born at Christmas.

One of the ways to get into planning mode is by finding inspiration early, and the Queen Professional recipe collection is a great place to start. Two of our savoury favourites for Christmas menus are the Vanilla Cured Ocean Trout – for seafood-loving Aussies – and the Crispy Skinned Duck – for something more traditional, but different to the typical turkey fare.

For sweet inspiration, try our Mango Soufflé. Not only does it celebrate a favourite summer fruit, but it’s also served with a passionfruit rum syrup made using Queen Natural Rum Flavour – perfect for a grown-up Christmas treat.

Be smart with ingredients (especially this year)

It’s no secret that supply chain disruptions and rising ingredient costs have been hallmarks of 2022. These challenges have hit the hospitality industry hard, and it’s forcing operators to reimagine how they deliver the flavours their diners demand at prices they’re willing to pay.

Queen Professional’s range of vanilla pastes and extracts, maple syrup, flavours and colours are available year-round and are a cost-effective means of ensuring dishes on your Christmas menu look and taste amazing.

Here are a few ways you can enhance your festive offering with the Queen Professional range.

  • Maple glazed ham: A perfectly glazed Christmas ham is always a crowd-pleaser. Queen Professional 100% Pure Canadian Maple Syrup is pure grade A, known for its deliciously rich caramelised notes. A perfect balance for ham’s salty flavour profile.
  • Christmas fruit cakes: Achieve the optimum rich brown pudding colour with Queen Professional Parisian Essence.
  • Custard: Uplevel custard by adding Queen Professional Brandy Flavour and Vanilla Bean Paste for a deliciously sophisticated accompaniment to Christmas cake or pudding.
  • Rum balls: these little festive favourites pair perfectly with coffee to round out a bountiful Christmas lunch. Queen Professional Natural Rum Flavour delivers a sweet, warm and woody rum flavour, in an alcohol-free formulation.
  • Delectable desserts: Even the most disciplined diners allow themselves a look at the dessert menu come December. Our Organic Vanilla Bean Paste is ideal for a host of desserts including crème brûlée, pavlova and panna cotta. Its thick texture and intense flavour cuts through cream, egg yolks and fat, while visible vanilla bean flecks add aesthetic appeal. For cakes, cookies and puddings, try our Natural Organic Vanilla Extract for a smooth, balanced flavour. When a cost-effective alternative to vanilla bean derived flavour is needed, our Imitation Vanilla Essence is budget-friendly but full of flavour.

Add festive flair with colour and flavour

Christmas is often the time when diners will embrace an attitude of ‘more is more’, so be sure to include some frivolously fun options on the menu to help leverage that festive spirit! Take a look at these ideas to help get your Christmas creativity flowing.

  • Celebratory cocktails: create a cocktail list that gets everyone talking, with a little help from Queen Professional. Our Natural Peppermint Extract is a festive go-to (candy cane cocktail, anyone?), while our Natural Rosewater Flavour can help you create deliciously fragrant creations like Turkish delight martinis. For no or low alcohol cocktail recipes try our Natural Brandy and Rum Flavours to ensure there’s no compromise on flavour.
  • Party-worthy pavlova: synonymous with Christmas in Australia, it’s hard to go past the beloved pavlova. With Queen Professional Natural Concentrated Vanilla Extract you can achieve the perfect meringue flavour with every service, while our extensive range of food colours can help you bring the festive fun by colouring the meringue, cream, or both! For a sophisticated twist on the humble pav, try our recipe for Spiced Coconut Pavlovas – they’re guaranteed to please.
  • Kids’ treats: nobody loves Christmas more than children so don’t forget to delight your junior diners too. Queen Professional’s food colour range is ideal for colouring icing, cookies and ice cream, so go all out with those reindeer and Santa cookies or Christmas coloured ice cream.
  • Very merry desserts: Queen Professional’s flavour solutions can help you create a decadent adults-only dessert menu. Try our Dark Chocolate Soufflés with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Salted Whisky Maple Caramel or Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Spiced Boozy Prunes and Roasted Almonds for the perfect finish to any festive feast.


To discuss how Queen Professional can help your business shine this Christmas, get in touch with our team.

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