follow us on

EXCLUSIVE: Christmas Day Cooking And Feasting According To Maggie Wilson, Marc Nelson, Raul Manzano, and Anton Barretto

The hosts of Metro Channel’s lifestyle shows recently gathered at Maggie Wilson’s home to film the holiday episode of Tim Yap’s upcoming show Tim’s Table, premiering on Christmas Day itself. Chatting while preparing the feast, lifestyle gurus and celebrities Maggie, Marc Nelson, Raul Manzano, and Anton Barretto share how they celebrate the holidays with family and friends—and the glorious food they get to enjoy.

 

Maggie Wilson’s home-cooked specialties

 

According to this co-host of Beached, on the menu almost every Christmas Day lunch is either a steak or a roast which she and her husband cook themselves. “We also serve this wonderful Potato Salad,” Maggie shares. “The recipe is from a friend who always served it and it was always a hit. I would always ask about the recipe. And when we got married, the recipe was given to us as a wedding present.” This prized Potato Salad is now part of Maggie’s Christmas tradition.

Another addition to their Christmas menu is a special Apple Coffee Cake that Maggie bakes herself. “There’s no coffee in it. It’s more like an apple cinnamon cake with walnuts.” She adds, “If I have the time, I make a homemade ice cream to go with the cake. One of my favorite ice cream flavors growing up in Saudi Arabia was this Maple Walnut ice cream. I missed it so much that one Christmas, I decided to make it and it goes really well with the cake.”

 

 

According to this co-host of Beached, on the menu almost every Christmas Day lunch is either a steak or a roast which she and her husband cook themselves. “We also serve this wonderful Potato Salad,” Maggie shares. “The recipe is from a friend who always served it and it was always a hit. I would always ask about the recipe. And when we got married, the recipe was given to us as a wedding present.” This prized Potato Salad is now part of Maggie’s Christmas tradition.

Another addition to their Christmas menu is a special Apple Coffee Cake that Maggie bakes herself. “There’s no coffee in it. It’s more like an apple cinnamon cake with walnuts.” She adds, “If I have the time, I make a homemade ice cream to go with the cake. One of my favorite ice cream flavors growing up in Saudi Arabia was this Maple Walnut ice cream. I missed it so much that one Christmas, I decided to make it and it goes really well with the cake.”

Maggie with, from left, Tim Yap, Anton Barretto, and Metro Home co-host Stephanie Kienle

 

On Christmas Day, Maggie spends it with her husband, son, and parents. Her home is also open to their friends who live in Manila but don’t have family here. “A lot of our friends are free to come on Christmas Day. They’re basically our extended family,” she shares.

Next month, Maggie begins filming her show Beached once again. “I feel a little pressured. I try to stay on a diet, but I will indulge on Christmas Day and New Year’s.” Then she admits, “On a normal year where I don’t need to film or be in a swimsuit for a show, I’ll eat anything I want!”

 

Marc Nelson’s Aussie holiday feast

 

Maggie’s Beached co-host used to spend his holidays in Manila, but in the past year, he has been flying back to Australia to celebrate the holiday season with his family. “I love to cook. My specialty would have to be a lamb roast with garlic and rosemary and a pumpkin soup with whole heads of roasted garlic in there,” shares Marc.

 

Christmas Day is also spent with Marc’s extended family. “My brother owns a restaurant in Australia and he and his in-laws cook up a storm and make the most incredible food,” as he describes mounds of seafood on the table and brisket, too.

“Going back home, I get to indulge in my mother’s cooking as well,” says Marc. Some of his special requests include Dutch Croquettes and Burmese Khao Suey which is a chicken and coconut milk-based curry soup, “It’s like a Burmese laksa. I just love the crispy noodles on top of it,” he describes.

As for staying fit and healthy over the holidays, Marc admits, “There are times when you should afford yourself the luxury of indulgence, and Christmas happens to be one of those times.” He practices intermittent fasting every single day, and even if he indulges during the holidays and is off his usual routine, he says, “I’ll be back to intermittent fasting and exercising within a week—I don’t find it difficult.”

 

Raul Manzano’s Christmas spread

Raul may be extra busy as the host of EIC on the Move and Editor-in-Chief of Metro Society magazine, but he still finds time to be the designated cook for his family’s special Christmas lunch. “I make my grandmother’s turkey; we call it Mama’s Recipe.” The turkey is stuffed with ground pork, ground beef, Oxford sausages, raisins, chorizo, and liver and is bathed in butter. “After a full day of defrosting, I marinate the turkey the evening of the 23rd and cook it the morning of the 25th.” Raul’s Christmas menu also includes a paella which he makes himself. “And of course, we do a Fabada which is beans and is said to welcome the new year with good fortune,” he adds.

Being a busy season for most and especially for a magazine editor, Raul says that when the hectic holiday festivities are over, “I completely shut off from the world after the 25th. I either stay at home or go on a seven-day diet until New Year’s. Sometimes I go abroad, but this year I am staying home.”

 

Anton Barretto’s holiday entertaining

As a much sought after interior designer and host of Metro Home, Anton is busy with the holidays even months before December. “I decorate (Christmas) trees. Every year, I do more than 30 homes and this begins even before Halloween!” he shares. Anton also loves having guests over for holiday parties. “Probably between November to December, I have about 8 to 10 parties at home. I love fixing the table, fixing the apartment, and the decor is always different. If I have ten different parties, that’s ten different decorations,” he admits.

 

Since Anton doesn’t cook anymore, he usually orders food from the restaurants he co-owns such as Rambla, Tomatito, and Las Flores, or he has a chef come to his apartment to cook something up. Since it’s such a busy time, what he looks forward to the most is spending time with his family. “You have to find the time to rest and breathe a little too,” he adds.

 

Tim Yap’s very special Christmas

According to this host of Metro Channel’s newest show, Tim’s Table’s, his new Christmas tradition is now celebrating his wedding anniversary, after tying the knot Christmas Day of 2017. Every year, he plans on spending this very special season in a new destination with his partner. “The whole year I’m busy celebrating with other people. Come Christmas, I just want to incubate and have some me and we time with my partner and just indulge in peace and quiet,” he shares. If most of the year is already a busy time for Tim, the holiday season even more so. “I try to stay healthy and fit by being keto-vegetarian, and it’s no problem for me to find peace even in a chaotic situation. I can be in the middle of a noisy place and find my own quiet spot within myself.”

 

The holiday premiere of Tim’s Table airs December 25 at 8:30 pm on Metro Channel, channel 52 on SkyCable and channel 174 on HD.