Chyka Keebaugh | Making Christmas Look Effortless

  • Pomegranate Mojitos Chyka Keebaugh © Toby Scott Est Magazine b

    Never one to do anything by halves, Chyka Keebaugh’s approach to Christmas is to embrace it and go all out, just as she does with life.

    Chyka, together with husband Bruce, has built The Big Group, one of Australia’s most successful event catering companies and The Design Depot, a bespoke event hire and styling company.

    Take your entertaining cue from Chyka and make Christmas look effortless.

    Chyka Keebaugh The Big Group Catering Melbourne © Toby Scott Est Magazine

    Pomegranate Mojitos Chyka Keebaugh © Toby Scott Est Magazine


    PHOTOGRAPHY Toby Scott | PRODUCTION Sian MacPherson | STYLING Chyka Keebaugh & Maxine Riedmaier

    Pomegranate and Tahitian lime syrup is added to Havana Club white rum and club soda then garnished with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for a delicious take on the classic mojito.


    1/4 cup fresh pomegranate juice
    1 tbsp granulated sugar
    1 tbsp fresh lime juice
    10 mint leaves
    30ml white rum
    Club Soda
    Mint leaves
    Pomegranate seeds



    1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a hand full of ice cubes and shake.

    2. Fill two cocktail glasses with crushed ice, fresh mint leaves and pomegranate seeds.

    3. Divide mixed mojitos between the two glasses.

    4. Top with a splash of soda water and fresh lime.


    Mince Tarts Chyka Keebaugh © Toby Scott Est Magazine



    PHOTOGRAPHY Toby Scott | PRODUCTION Sian MacPherson | STYLING Chyka Keebaugh & Maxine Riedmaier


    Fruit Mince
    2 apples
    1 cup of sultanas
    ½ cup of brown sugar
    ½ cup of currants
    ½ cup of raisins
    3 tbsp mixed peel
    Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
    Zest of ½ an orange
    ½ tsp of mixed spice
    ½ tsp of cinnamon
    ¼ tsp of ground cloves
    Pinch of salt
    ¼ of a cup of brandy

    Sweet Pastry
    200g flour
    Pinch of salt
    120g salted butter
    50g castor sugar
    1 egg

    1. Peel and quarter the apples. In a large bowl grate the apple. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can store the fruit mince in sterilized jars, topped with extra brandy and covered. It will keep for months in the fridge.

    2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a food processor. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to food processor, blitz until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add castor sugar and egg and blitz mixture until it becomes a firm dough.

    3. On a floured board knead the mixture until it forms a smooth ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

    4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. On a lightly-floured board roll out the pastry. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter into rounds to fit patty tins. Using a small star shaped cutter, cut small stars of dough to cover the filling.

    5. Spoon the Christmas fruit mince into the cases and cover each tart with a star.

    6. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the tarts are golden.

    7. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.


    For more Christmas food and styling inspiration see our exclusive feature story with Chyka inside Issue #11

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