How Chefs Are Spending Thanksgiving Day

It’s almost turkey day, a time to eat well and hopefully avoid disaster both in the kitchen and at the table. We asked a few local food and cocktail craftsmen what they were up to this Thanksgiving and whether they have any memories of holiday meals gone awry. Take a look at what Joshua Whigham of The Bazaar, David Myers of Comme Ca, Brooke Williamson of Hudson House, Vincenzo Marianella of Copa D’Oro, and Brandon Boudet of Little Dom’s had to say.

Joshua Whigham, The Bazaar
“I will be with my fiancé and her family for Thanksgiving and I want my future family to taste what I have been cooking over the years and also show them a little of how Jose Andres has influenced my cooking. I’m making roasted leg of Sonoma lamb, sundried tomato and mint couscous with roasted delacata squash, mashed sweet potatoes with passion fruit marshmallows and olive oil, endive salad with goat cheese and almonds, mom’s collard greens, and my grandmother’s banana pudding!

One year for thanksgiving, many years back, I was working the ovens for dinner. One caught fire from the grease that had splashed in the oven. I was young and didn’t know what to do, so I yelled, closed the oven door, and was thrown out of the way by the chef. He threw salt and milk. Chef saved the day.”

David Myers, Comme Ca/Sona

“I’ll be in Spain for Thanksgiving. I usually cook wherever we go in the world, but this year someone else is doing the cooking. I do love cooking duck and rabbit on Thanksgiving day, with some fun fixings like cardamom potato purée and roasted chestnuts with fennel. I don’t have any disaster stories where the food was not good, but fond memories of finishing up work at Daniel and then cooking all through the night to have a great eight course dinner for friends who lived in my building. They brought the wine and I made all the food. Live diver scallops with caviar, whole roasted foie gras with pickled cherries, spice braised pork belly, whole roasted duck and pumpkin confit pie.”

Brooke Williamson, Hudson House/Beechwood

“I’ll spend Thanksgiving this year with my husband, Nick, and my son Hudson, and friends at a potluck. We usually spend the day with much more family, but work has come first this year, and traveling just wasn’t practical. I will be making brown sugar sweet potatoes, truffled mushroom and brussels sprout gratin, monkey bread, and an endive, arugula, persimmon and pomegranate salad with blue cheese dressing.

In college I decided to cook thanksgiving dinner for all of my friends at a friend’s house off campus. I didn’t go shopping until the day of, and could only find frozen turkeys. When I got to my friends house to start cooking I realized that there was only one very small oven. Long story short, it was a great meal that we sat down for around midnight.”

Vincenzo Marianella, Barman, Copa D’Oro

“I’ll be riding my motorcycle around Death Valley, drinking lots of water because I don’t drink and drive and there’s too much wind out there to make a proper cocktail. I would be spilling it everywhere! Ideally, I’d like to have a nightcap of tequila.”

Brandon Boudet, Little Dom’s

“I’ll be deep frying turkeys early in the morning, with a very casual dinner that evening with a couple friends. I’m going to one of their houses and just bringing wine & whiskey and maybe a deep fried turkey. I’ve never actually had a disastrous thanksgiving, because I always make it a point to enjoy myself and friends first and keep the food simple with lots of good wine.”

How Chefs Are Spending Thanksgiving Day