Still hemming and hawing about how to do Thanksgiving dinner? Let’s take a look at what five of America’s top chefs—members of our 2020 Chefs’ Collective—have up their sleeves, memories to Thanksgivings of yore, plus the (amazing-sounding) recipes they’ll be cooking up.
1. Melissa King
Chef Melissa will be driving from the Bay Area to L.A. to spend time with family, including two almost-five-year-old nieces who love to help her cook! The menu switches up by the year; there’s always a request for sticky rice with Chinese sausage and shiitake mushrooms, Parmesan popovers, and king crab legs, but the Top Chef star gets excited about traditional turkey, stuffing and gravy. She’s psyched that this is a turkey year, but she tells us, “The next day I take the roasted turkey carcass and make turkey congee.” We’re pleased to have her congee recipe; just sub in turkey!
As a child, Chef Melissa started each morning before school with a cozy bowl of her mother’s congee. The rice porridge, a dish she describes as “the chicken noodle soup of Chinese culture,” is just the type of comfort food classic that each of the chefs turn to when considering their holiday menu.
2. Timothy Hollingsworth
Chef Timothy, another Californian and an alumnus of The French Laundry, will be celebrating Thanksgiving with his in-laws. “My mother in law is Lebanese and makes a great roast with Middle Eastern spices, which I’m looking forward to,” he tells us. He’ll contribute the bird, smoking a turkey in his Traeger (have you seen his grilled Thanksgiving menu?!) with an herb mayonnaise rub.
This year, he tells us, “I am thankful for family and health. It will be our youngest daughter’s first Thanksgiving, and I am grateful that we can all safely be together to enjoy it.”
3. Mason Hereford
Famed New Orleans sandwich savant Mason Hereford “will be celebrating Thanksgiving by eating a really, really big meal with people I love.” His Mom’s burnt tomato casserole, a classic every year, “will inevitably be the best thing on the table,” he sighs, but he’s not exactly phoning it in. “I’m cooking buttermilk mashed potatoes, chicken wing stuffing, apple fritters, collard greens, house opened canned cranberry sauce, and ‘Mason’s Thanksgiving day puree,’ which is sweet potatoes, apples, and baking spices all mashed up together.” Yowza! “The day after Thanksgiving, I like to make my Leftover Turkey Sandwich with Gravy Mayo. It rules.”
Just look at it; we can hardly disagree.
4 & 5. Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli
The sweet New York couple, who specialize in Italian cuisine, are always busy, but this year a brand-new baby is in the mix, too! “We will be celebrating with a few close family members at our apartment,” they tell us. “Angie’s family always eats tortellini soup on Thanksgiving. To honor that tradition, we will be making stuffing-filled tortellini in turkey brodo with tiny turkey meatballs. Two other Italian American-inflected dishes we will serve are our Broccoli Rabe and Provolone Gratin and Scalloped Potato Lasagna Bianca.”
Congrats to Scott and Angie on their new baby boy (who has a lifetime of good eating ahead of him!) And happy Thanksgiving to all our chefs, and to you and yours!
6. Miles MacQuarrie
Famed Atlanta mixologist Miles MacQuarrie is keeping the celebration small this year, just himself, his wife Leigh Anne, and their daughter Madeleine. That means passing on the whole turkey in favor of Turkey Porchetta paired with pommes aligot, roasted Brussels sprouts with wild mushrooms, and classic southern-style braised green beans. As if his perfectly crafted menu were not enough, cocktail hour will see Miles and Leigh Anne toasting to the holiday with the Noisette Cocktail, an elegant concoction of Japanese whisky, pommeau du normandie, almond grappa, and torino vermouth over a big rock of ice and soon to be on the bar menu at Miles’ historic Kimball House Restaurant and hotel in downtown Atlanta. Making the most of a trying year with such a cozy and intimate celebration is a craft to which we can all raise our glasses. Cheers!
- 1 oz Akashi Japanese Whisky
- 1 oz Bordiga Torino Vermouth
- 1/2 oz Nardini Bassano Almond Grappa
- 1/2 Pommeau du Normandie
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Combine all the ingredients in a chilled mixing glass and stir until very cold. Strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass over a large cube of ice. Express the oil of a lemon peel over the surface and discard.