Entertain Like a Pro


It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! With the kids jingle belling, hearts will be glowing, marshmallow roasting, there’ll be parties hosting, it’s the happiest season of all…..hold up this sounds like a Christmas carol, ha ha.

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday is to entertain family and friends. I love, watching them enjoy great food, wine and conversation. It’s what memories are made of. We all live a very busy, hectic lives and sometimes the thought of cooking could be daunting.

Cooking for the holidays doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. Just focus on the seasonal and the freshest ingredients. Be innovative this season, make clever use of what you have in your pantry (this is a good way of getting rid of stuff) to create a memorable meal.


Instead of dessert, have some fun with a do-it-yourself MOUBECHINO. Give everyone a shot of expresso, dark chocolate shavings, steamed milk, and spoon in ube whipped cream, WALA – YOU HAVE YOURSELF A TASTY BEVERAGE!


  • 3 cups store bought ready-whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp ube flavoring (any Asian store will have this)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Gently fold the ingredients together. Enjoy.



  • 1 (13 lb) whole turkey (uncooked)
  • 2 cups butter (softened)
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces fresh sage
  • 1 lb bacon (uncooked)
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  •  salt and pepper  to taste


  1.  Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold running water and drain well. Blot dry with paper towels.
  2. Chop onion and garlic and mix together.  Stuff the turkey with the mixture.
  3. Chop sage and mix in with softened butter. Rub sage butter mixture under the skin and over the skin of the turkey. Salt and pepper to taste
  4. Place uncooked bacon slices all over the skin of the uncooked turkey. 
  5. Place turkey in a roasting pan and use foil to tent the uncooked turkey. Remove foil tent for last hour of cooking turkey. Cook until golden brown or bacon is crisp.
  6. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F – measure with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast, to assure doneness. 

Have a great holiday!


Chef John Nidua is the Executive Chef at The International Hotel of Calgary. He is also the owner of PAO (Filipino inspired steamed buns).