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Sabrina Ghayour’s guide to feasting

Stuffy formal dinner parties not your scene? Then you’ll be a fan of Sabrina’s take on feasting for friends. These recipes from her latest book are full of her trademark eclectic flavours. Add music, colourful crockery, laughter, good friends (and maybe a glass of wine or two) and say yes to good times
Savoury pork and fennel baklava with roasted tomatoes and feta, p70

I love cooking for friends. Over time, I’ve realised that the more informal the setting, the better it goes. Seeing how stressed people get when entertaining I sometimes wonder why they put themselves through it. Formal dinners are fine on certain occasions but the best kind of entertaining happens when you prepare wonderful food, surrounding yourself with people you genuinely want to spend time with and (even better) the kind of people with whom you can be relaxed and informal.

I’ve been cooking for family and friends for over 30 years (since I was in single digits) so I make sure nothing gets in the way of a get-together. I refuse to wash a single plate (unless it’s needed) throughout the event, preferring to spend the time catching up with the people around my table, as intended at the time of inviting them. Admittedly, the kitchen ends up looking like a herd of elephants have run through it and the kitchen sink is full to the rafters, but that’s the worst of it. For me, entertaining is a joy. With a little thought, careful planning and, in my case, running the menu past someone else because I can get a bit carried away, it all comes together rather beautifully. The best advice I can give is to lighten-up and not to stress more than is necessary. The most awkward, least enjoyable dinners I’ve been to are when the host is visibly stressed or, worse, absent for most of the night cooking or washing up in the kitchen. Cut yourself some slack. Nobody cares that your kitchen is a mess or that you didn’t cook a seven-course Michelin-star standard meal; they just want to see you, have a drink, some great food, laugh and enjoy good conversation. SABRINA GHAYOUR

MEET SABRINA The London-based cookery writer, teacher and cookbook author was born in Iran and moved to Britain as a child. Her distinctive cooking style skilfully blends the flavours of east and west, with lashings of colour and vibrant spicing. She has appeared many times on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. Sabrina is a self-taught cook who knows the constraints of the home kitchen – and how to keep a cool head for entertaining. Feasts is her third cookbook.

“Entertaining is a joy. With a little thought and careful planning it all comes together rather beautifully”

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About Delicious Magazine

The September issue of delicious. is packed with great cooking: there’s a Ukrainian feast from Olia Hercules, a relaxed Persian menu from Sabrina Ghayour, Bruno Loubet’s incredible mushroom burger, Richard Bertinet’s end-of-summer pudding and Thane Prince’s foolproof jam-making feature. Our bigger midweek section is also filled with inspiration for exciting and healthy meals that are simple to cook but deliver on flavour. Plus improve your kitchen skills with our guide to sourdough, making a pastry lattice and step-by-step biryani.
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