Andrew Zimmern Has Holiday Cooking Advice You Need To Hear

No matter your background, traditions, or the place you call home, there's one thing pretty much everyone on planet Earth has in common: When it's time for a celebration, the chef of the household starts planning how to cook the perfect holiday meal. Sometimes, these meals come out perfectly. Other times, holiday recipes gone completely wrong become the stuff of family legend. Luckily, this experience seems to be universally stressful, which means there's a lot of good advice out there for people who are trying to make holiday cooking a less panic-filled activity. 

Iron Chef Cat Cora shared her top holiday cooking tips with Mashed last year, one of which was to plan ahead as much as possible. It may only be September, but if you celebrate an upcoming fall or winter holiday, it's never too early to start researching. Rachael Ray seems to know this, too. She just hosted a special "Tip-Tastic" episode of "The Rachael Ray Show," and one of her guests was chef and adventurous eater Andrew Zimmern of "Bizarre Foods." If you're the type to get nervous about holiday cooking, Zimmern's advice could offer you some major relief.

Zimmern's biggest tip is to outsource

On Rachael Ray's "Tip-Tastic Show" from September 20, guest Andrew Zimmern had some sage advice to share. First, he tried to illuminate one of the actual causes of all that holiday cooking stress: You're doing too much. According to Zimmern, on "all the big holidays, people try to do more recipes that they've never done before, and non-bakers bake." Ray interrupted him to say, "That's such a terrible idea!" Then, Zimmern shared his solution. "I always tell people, take the two or three things you're not good at and outsource them. You don't have enough burners anyway!"

If you're not a baker, this could mean getting bread, rolls, pies, or desserts from a local bakery. Or, if baking is your specialty, you could consider using an entree from your favorite local restaurant as the centerpiece of the meal, or asking friends and relatives to chip in by bringing holiday side dishes, potluck-style. Any way you slice it, delegating some of the elements of the meal to professionals or capable people in your social circle can take a lot of pressure off of the host, leading to a happier and less stressful celebration for everyone at the table.