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YouTube channel Epic Meal Time is by a crew of 10 Montrealers known for their Internet videos of outrageous, grease-laden dishes, such as this steak-and-Cheez-Whiz-laden "gingerbread house" (YouTube)
YouTube channel Epic Meal Time is by a crew of 10 Montrealers known for their Internet videos of outrageous, grease-laden dishes, such as this steak-and-Cheez-Whiz-laden "gingerbread house" (YouTube)

All-meat gingerbread houses and other extreme holiday dinners Add to ...

Preparing a traditional holiday feast can seem like an enormous undertaking to the average home cook. But, for professional culinary extremists, roasting a turkey or ham is a piece of cake. We asked these kitchen rebels to share their most over-the-top holiday ideas.

Micah Donovan, Christopher Martin and Nobu Adilman, hosts of Food Jammers, shown on the Food Network Canada and the Cooking Channel in the U.S. Part artists, part mad scientists, they're known for building crazy contraptions to cook oddities such as Beeretzels, 3-D Pizza and hot tub shabu shabu.

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What's the most extreme holiday meal you've ever done?

NA: A few years ago, we did our Hol-log-Day episode. We wanted a meal where nobody had to get up. We built a roller coaster in our loft space and then we hollowed out maple logs and we put hot rocks inside and we made all sorts of food that cooked inside with the hot rocks, like partridge and fish, and we connected them to the roller coaster and made them arrive at the table. It was a lot of front-end work, so the back end could be really relaxing.

What are you making this year?

CM: I'm on a baking kick, so my plan is to make a whole bunch of breads. My tradition is I make killer apple pies and I put like nine apples in every one. I'll make a soup, like a squash soup, and I think the main dish is going to be some seafood pasta. We veered away from turkey when there were more vegetarians at the table than meat eaters.

MD: This Christmas, we're kind of playing it by ear. I think we're making a turkey. I'm not doing anything too psychedelic this year.

Any advice for the average Betty Crocker who wants to create an epic meal?

NA: Don't do it if it's going to stress you out. Do it because it's really fun to hang out with your pals and come up with weird things. Don't spend too much money doing it, and don't blow up your neighbour's house. And when you think you've completely failed, try it for another hour. Sometimes great things can come out of the ashes.

Bob Blumer, host of Glutton for Punishment. For his final season of the show, starting Jan. 3 on the Food Network Canada, Mr. Blumer attempts to establish six Guinness World Records, including making the world's largest bowl of salsa and cracking the most eggs in an hour with one hand tied behind his back.

What's the most extreme holiday meal you've ever done?

I did a dinner for 300 people in Singapore and it was a benefit. The acronym was SNOW, so I decided to do a snow-themed dinner, which I thought was funny because in Singapore they don't know what snow is. I served a savoury snow cone, which had tuna tartare on the inside, and it was topped with shaved cucumber gazpacho. And I served Arctic char, cooked en papillote, but the papillote was one of those frozen [paper]bags that you get when you buy ice cream at the grocery store. For dessert, I made individual snowmen of white chocolate mousse, and I put them underneath upturned wineglasses, so they were Frosty the Snow Globe.

What are you cooking this year?

I'm really not much of a Christmas person. I just chill out and hide. But I had an extreme meal the other night that could be done for any Christmas. A friend of mine had just come back from Alaska and he brought back 20 pounds of Alaskan king crab legs. We steamed the crab legs. We made some drawn butter, some aioli, and we just heated up some loaves of bread, and made some coleslaw for 12 people, and basically, that was the meal. It was so memorable, people will be talking about it for ages.

Any advice for the average Betty Crocker who wants to create an epic meal?

I'll play the whole party before in my mind. If it starts to seem overwhelming, I'll change the repertoire to give myself more breathing room. I think people tend to get locked in and it's too late to change anything. I have a very important rule: Guests feed off your energy as much as your food.

Harley Morenstein, co-creator of the YouTube channel Epic Meal Time. Mr. Morenstein is part of a crew of 10 Montrealers known for their Internet videos of outrageous, grease-laden dishes, such as their "Angry French-Canadian," a massive French-toast sandwich stuffed with bacon, sausage and poutine drenched in maple syrup.

What's the most extreme holiday meal you've ever done?

We don't want to just be known as Canadian dudes who do crazy stuff with poutine, so we planned to do something really big for this past American Thanksgiving. When you go big at Thanksgiving, you do a turducken, so I told my friends we should do a turbaconducken, which is the same as a turducken but you wrap everything in bacon. [That idea eventually evolved into the TurBaconEpic, a deboned quail stuffed within a Cornish game hen, wrapped in a boneless chicken within a duck, stuffed within a turkey, which was stuffed inside a bacon-wrapped pig.]

What are you making this year?

We made a gingerbread house. But instead of gingerbread, we used steak and sausage meat as mortar. We made a candy-bacon roof and puff-pastry rafters for the house, we made snow with mashed potatoes and we flooded it with Cheese Whiz. We made bacon-grease Jack Daniel's eggnog, and Coca-Cola-Jack Daniel's ribs for the fence. There were also ham doors and windows. The final structure was almost a foot high, 11 inches by 11 inches by 11 inches.

Any advice for the average Betty Crocker who wants to create an epic meal?

If you're working with a lot of meat like we are, it's dangerous. You really have to make sure all the meat is cooked. When you're dealing with raw meat, and you're slicing it up on cutting boards, it's got to be clean. You've got to be careful. We also learned to never waste the food. When you can't finish it yourself, it's time to call in a team.

These interviews have been condensed and edited.

Follow on Twitter: @wencyleung

 

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