Turns out kitchens are full of budding artists. We asked a roll call of top chefs to design the perfect Christmas canapé. These are the drawings they sent us 

Words: Annica Wainwright

Sketchpad Specials - Sandia Chang and her sketch

1. Sandia Chang – co-founder, Bubbledogs
Chipolata dog
A take on that old festive favourite, pigs in blankets. Served in a salty-sweet pretzel roll, the chipolata is wrapped in bacon and topped with dried cranberries and a crunchy brussels sprout slaw.

Sketchpad Specials - AJeremy Pan and his sketch

2. Jeremy Pang – executive chef, Cha Chaan Teng 
Christmas morning breakfast canapé 
One for an early morning (or late-night) event, this beetroot and spring onion-flecked pancake is topped with star anise, cinnamon and jasmine tea-infused egg, crispy kale, deep-fried shallots and pickled ginger.

Sketchpad Specials - Atul Kochlar and his sketch

3. Atul Kochhar – chef-patron, Benares
Seasonal smoked scallop
This tandoor scallop skewer is  marinated in ginger, chilli and cumin. Wrapped in pancetta and served with mulled cranberry relish on samphire and spinach, this tasty morsel is then topped with saffron and champagne foam.

Sketchpad Specials - Matt Robinson and his sketch

4. Matt Robinson – executive head chef, Dickie Fitz 
Lobster gyoza canapé 
This one’s a Japanese-style dumpling, filled with diced lobster meat, fresh ginger, chives and chilli, and served with a ginger, soy and vinegar sauce for dipping into.

Sketchpad Specials - AKen Tolley and his sketch

5. Ken Tolley – head chef, Hoi Polloi
Salmon blini
Organic, hot-smoked salmon is served on blinis, spread with herb and citrus crème fraîche, then topped with a quail’s egg and a generous dollop of caviar. A typically Nordic-tinged bite from the Ace Hotel restaurant.

Sketchpad Specials - jean Phillippe Blondet and his sketch

6. Jean-Philippe Blondet – executive chef, Alain Ducasse
A sheet of celeriac is rolled after being filled with white crab meat, celeriac remoulade, horseradish and diced apple. The canapé is glazed with an apple jelly, topped with Kristal caviar and served chilled on silver spoons.

Sketchpad Specials - Rose Lloyd Owen and her sketch

7. Rose Lloyd Owen – founder, Peardrop 
Partridge à la Peardrop
Pan-fried partridge and chestnut, topped with Rose’s quick pear chutney and garnished with crispy parma ham shards. The whole thing is then presented on a festive bed of pine needles.

Sketchpad Specials - Michael Reid and his sketch

8. Michael Reid – executive chef, M Restaurants

Pork, blue cheese & pistachio croquette
Encased in a pistachio crust, you’ll find a pork, sage and onion stuffing layer with a stichelton blue cheese centre – all topped with a winter-spiced pear purée. Great seasonal flavours.

Sketchpad Specials - Alexandre Nicolas and his sketch

9. Alexandre Nicolas – executive chef, Rivea London 

Marinated wild sea bass & citrus
The canapé is composed of citrus-marinated wild sea bass, fresh citrus segments, condiments and served on a spoon. To finish, some lemon caviar and coriander cress on top.

Sketchpad Specials - Jun Tanaka and his sketch

10. Jun Tanaka – chef-patron, The Ninth 
Tarte fine of pickled pears, smoked mallard & chestnuts
Sweet and tart pickled pears complement the smoky richness of the tender mallard. It’s the sliced raw chestnuts that add that nutty crunch. Puff pastry frames the whole thing beautifully.

Sketchpad Specials - Mark Birchall and his sketch

11. Mark Birchall – chef-patron, Moor Hall
Blood pudding tart
When his restaurant opens this autumn, Mark will serve this combination of shaved raw chestnut with smoked butternut cream, bacon jam, blood pastry and baked blood pudding.

Sketchpad Specials - Jeremy Coste and his sketch

12. Jeremy Coste – co-founder, Ahi Poké & North Audley Cantine
Lobster pokē taco
This grilled lobster and avocado taco is dressed with sesame shoyu and a squeeze of lime. Add a sprig of coriander and a sprinkle of black sesame, and this Hawaii-Mex treat is ready.

Sketchpad Specials - Luke Matthews and his sketch

13. Luke Matthews – executive head chef, Chewton Glen 
Fillet of venison wellington, mushroom & truffle
Small seared fillets are brushed with tarragon mustard. It’s then finished with cep duxelles flavoured with truffle, a herb pancake, spinach and puff pastry. 

Sketchpad Specials - Andre Garrett and his sketch

14. André Garrett – executive chef, Cliveden House
Foie gras, smoked eel, soy pearls, fennel & seaweed
Seared foie gras and warm smoked eel are combined with tapioca pearls cooked with soy dashi, diced apple, shaved fennel, and roasted chicken juices seasoned with dashi vinegar. 

This article was first published in Squaremeal Christmas 2016