Posted: 1 Nov 2013

Chris Lucas: My tips for
Melbourne Cup Day entertaining

Chris Lucas Chin Chin How are you celebrating the biggest week on Melbourne’s social and sporting calendar?

For restaurateur Chris Lucas (right), the force behind Chin Chin and Baby Pizza, there will be action aplenty at both the restaurants and the track.

Chris’ team at Baby has come up with a signature dish for the Lavazza Marquee on Oaks Day – gnocchi alla zucca. The hand-rolled gnocchi, with a pumpkin, sage and chilli sauce, will be served in cute little individual baby pumpkins.

But if you don’t have clever chefs on hand to produce a fabulous race day food, here are five tips from Chris on hosting the perfect Spring Racing party…

1. Food

The food has to be perfect, with lots of it to last the entire day as usually racing parties last well into the evening. Outstanding chicken sandwiches are the best way to start, along with freshly shucked oysters on ice, Peking duck sliders with Asian slaw, cured salmon with accompaniments, freshly roasted organic chicken cut into small pieces and served with delicious relish and some fresh sourdough bread, cooked king prawns with aioli and loads of salads. For dessert, go for pavlova with fresh fruit, tiramisu, trifle, new season mango with anything, crème caramel and lots of ice cream. I love Movenpick’s white chocolate with chocolate shards – to die for!

2. Music

Start off with some cool relaxed music. I like the Hotel Costes collection. Then getting the music right the rest of the day is essential – 80s classics keeps everyone happy.

3. Drinks

Lots of French rosé and of course French Champagne. I like to have a few bottles of Louis Roederer, and clean crisp Chablis. Try chilled Beaujolais – it’s fantastic for drinking during the day. A great way to kick off the day is with a Lavazza espresso or even an espresso martini.

4. Accessories

Be sure to have a selection of hats for guests and parasol umbrellas for the ladies and lots of comfy seats.

5. The race

Don’t forget the TV for the actual race if anyone remembers!

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