Festive Food Moments from Prestige Venues and Events

By Ben Dutson, Food Innovation Director -
Ben Dutson, Food Innovation Director
Ben Dutson, Food Innovation Director

With the Christmas holidays fast approaching we are all starting to think about what we are going to cook to feed friends and family over the festive period. Given that we missed out on everything last year there is a keen desire to make this Christmas that bit extra special to make up for lost time. With food being at the heart of everything we do in our PV&E venues and with sustainability and our planet high on the agenda this year we have tasked our PV&E chef brigade to help you create the perfect Christmas repertoire with something for every festive occasion. 

Our brief to the team this year was to create some innovative festive food ideas encompassing plant based, sustainable products where possible that are easy to prepare at home with ingredients that you are likely to have in the house during the festive period. And above all recipes that are super delicious and will make you’re your guests really happy this Christmas!

Hazelnut and Cherry Brownies – Ben Dutson, Food Innovation Director

This is my late grandma’s old recipe and she loved baking, and like many people of her generation didn’t like wasting anything. You can use up anything tasty that you have left after Christmas in this recipe - oranges, shortbread, any nuts, dried fruit, cranberries etc. Even After Eight mints!

Serving size: 16
Prep and cooking time: 50 mins


  • 275g good quality dark chocolate
  • 100g flour
  • 100g cocoa
  • 5 eggs
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 50g crushed hazelnut
  • 50g cherries
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of Maldon salt


  1. Melt the chocolate over a Bain Marie
  2. Melt in the butter slowly then add the sugar
  3. Remove from Bain Marie
  4. Whisk in the eggs, then fold the flour and cocoa through
  5. Finally add in any nuts or fruit you are using
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees 

Happy Festive Baking!

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