The question of which is the most important part of a traditional Christmas Dinner has been known to spark fierce debate among foodie families.
Everyone seems to have their own favourite ingredient – but for MasterChef finalist and top chef Daniel Marreiros, his is a bit more obscure than most.
Daniel has revealed the one part of a Christmas Dinner that he simply has to have; and it’s not pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, or even sprouts.
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The 28-year-old told MyLondon the one part of a Christmas Dinner he absolutely can’t do without, is Octopus.
Daniel said: “For me, this might sound odd, but I need Octopus.
“Octopus in a way done that is called ‘à lagareiro’, so like it’s a Portugese version, it’s with roast potatoes and full of garlic and olive oil, actually drenched in olive oil.
“I just love that. And if that is not on the table I am a very upset man.
“And port, lots of port.”
Asked whether he’d be pouring gravy on his Octopus this Christmas, it was a firm no from Daniel, who said the dish creates its own delicious sauce.
He said: “The olive oil with the flavour of the garlic confits that Octopus so it just becomes super tender and slightly roasted.
“I cannot get off it, it’s like all night I’m eating it – I ignore totally what’s on the table, usually a lot of things.
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“I’m just eating this Octopus, and sipping a good port.
“Christmas for me is that.”
Octopus with Christmas Dinner might sound controversial to anyone unfamiliar with the Portuguese delicacy, but Daniel loves an unusual food pairing.
Another unlikely combination he recommends is Campari and Coffee.
Daniel explained: “Imagine a single espresso, and you do like one shot of Campari, and you put an espresso on the top.
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“You think it’s bitter, there’s no chance it works, but it does.”
“You have to try this,” gushed the chef.
Daniel Marreiros is the head chef at Volta do Mar Portuguese restaurant on Tavistock Street in central London, which was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2021.
The experience chef impressed judges with his pop-up dish of red mullet and saffron broth, and signature fish dish, in the semi-finals, taking him through to the finals this week.
MasterChef: The Professionals, The Finals is on tonight (Tuesday, December 14) and then Wednesday and Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.