ITALIAN AT HOME: TV host and cookbook author Magdalena Roze

 In Bulletin

Byron Bay foodie Magdalena Roze is no stranger to catering to a crowd, particularly around Christmas time. Mismatched plates, a decadent pav and a heaving charcuterie board are just a trio of her must-haves when it comes to entertaining over the holidays.

Top tips for easy summer entertaining?
“Keep it simple and easy. Entertaining is as much about connecting with friends as it is about the food. Especially in the summer months I love an aperitivo-style get together with plates of charcuterie, cheese, olives, fresh bread and wine. Best of all, it requires minimal if any cooking but when the produce is amazing there’s no need to fuss. it’s actually best just as it is and it’s perfect any time of day.

“I like to match plates of salami, mortadella, olives and cheeses with fresh natural wines like an Orange, Rose or Pet Nat.”

What do you like to see on your Christmas table?
“My background is Eastern European so our Christmas starts on Christmas Eve and it’s always 12 dishes! Mum’s mushroom dumplings are a must and on Christmas Day, when Darren and I do the cooking, it’s ham, prawns and my special pavlova.”

One non-negotiable when it comes to your antipasto? 
“Wine!”

Favourite Salumi Australia product for feeding a crowd?
“Honestly, there are too many to mention, they are all just so exceptional. I love the sliced fennel salami, mortadella, salame casareccio, salame Classico – and so does everyone else, especially the kids. They are all delicious and work perfectly with pickles, olives and cheese.”

Your fail-safe tips for setting a table when entertaining?
“I used to be quite traditional with matching plates and all, but now I favour a more relaxed approach and enjoy mismatched plates and cutlery. I do love linen napkins as they always add a sense of occasion no matter how casual the setting, as well as fresh flowers in a variety of glasses and/or vases. These can be anything from home grown herbs and flowers, something from the farmer’s markets or even picked on the side of the road. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive but I think fresh greens and blooms always create a lovely and welcoming atmosphere. My mum always uses a tablecloth for special occasions and I have no idea how she gets the olive oil and wine stains out but it’s always a sign of a good time.”