How To Entertain Like A Restaurateur This Holiday Season
To Cory Vitiello, owner of hip Toronto rotisserie joint Flock, a perfectly cooked bird is a “thing of beauty.” Not only can he make a perfect roast chicken, a skill he credits to his apprenticeship at Toronto institution Scaramouche, but he can also entertain like a pro. “Focus on simplicity,” he says, instead of taking on complex recipes when hosting a crowd. Get Cory’s top holiday entertaining tips below, plus his famous roast chicken recipe.
The main floor of chef and restaurateur Cory Vitiello’s apartment is set up with a long dining table and two armchairs; lounging in front of the TV is strictly for upstairs. “I wanted to maximize this floor,” he says. “I always entertain here, and we do poker night around this table.”
“When it comes to entertaining at home, the only way to go during the holidays is cheesy – that’s why I picked this drink. I love the name.”
Get Cory’s recipe for The Christmas Sweater Cocktail.
“We look at home cooking as a way to get back to making simple food we adore, and most of the time that’s working with a few beautiful ingredients and creating around that.”
“Puffs are something that everybody’s mom used to make. We all have different ideas of what they are. But this is my elevated version. It’s a warm, fuzzy snack that’s immediately satisfying.”
Get Cory’s recipe for Manchego & Butternut Squash Puffs.
“From November to February, this is the perfect gut-warming soup. I’ve done a spin on it for years, with different combinations of ingredients, but this is my favorite version. It’s got spice and it’s got richness from the chestnuts and pumpkin, so when it comes to festive soups, this is the one that always comes to the mind first.”
Get Cory’s recipe for Pumpkin, Chestnut & Chorizo Soup.
Cory sets up a soup station on the sideboard for guests to serve themselves.
“Roast chicken is – as you can probably guess – my favorite meal. Turkey doesn’t always do it for me, but chicken, perfectly cooked and rested, is the most succulent, complete meal. You’ve got the pan drippings from the chicken that’s been spiced with lemon and rosemary… that really is the best smell in the world.”
Get Cory’s recipe for Roast Chicken With Chickpeas, Bitter Greens & Mini Creamer Potatoes.
“This cake is adaptable throughout the year, so in the summer you could do raspberries, blueberries or peaches. It’s like a steamed pudding, so the base of it is moist and steeped in the fruit.”
Get Cory’s recipe for Upside-Down Poached-Pear Cake.