Seven top chefs put their delicious spins on a traditional holiday menu. The result? Your best feast ever.
by Melissa Clark
Although I have nothing against my family's usual Thanksgiving fare, I do get a little tired of the old reliables. This year, I decided to ask some of the country's top chefs to contribute a recipe to my dinner—a kind of All-Star Thanksgiving potluck, but with me at the stove.
My dream team chef list started with Alfred Portale of New York's Gotham Bar and Grill and Tom Douglas of Seattle's Dahlia Lounge. These two iconic American chefs from opposite coasts provided the meal's centerpiece: the turkey and stuffing, respectively.
For the side dishes, New York chefs Dan Silverman, formerly of Lever House; Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto; and Andrew Carmellini, formerly at A Voce—along with Mitchell Rosenthal of San Francisco's Town Hall—put creative spins on the mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, cauliflower, and green beans my family continues to insist upon. And for dessert, Elisabeth Prueitt of San Francisco's Tartine Bakery enhances the flavor of classic pumpkin pie with freshly ground spices.
The flavors in my dream-team potluck are classic enough to satisfy my tradition-bound family, but different enough to excite us. And that's something we can all be thankful for.
Download a pdf
of this menu, including all recipes, shopping list and timeline.
Wines for the feast
When choosing wines to serve at Thanksgiving, don't feel that you need to pair each dish with a wine; instead, pick a couple of versatile bottles that will complement the meal as a whole. Avoid too much oak, which would overwhelm the more delicately flavored dishes, and tannin, which would taste bitter paired with salty and cream-based foods, such as the turkey and mashed potatoes. Most important, uncork what you and your guests like.
White ideas: Young, fruity German Rieslings are a good choice. Two favorites:
Red ideas: Try a Pinot Noir with medium acidity, such as:
A dessert splurge: Why not? It's the holidays. Match the spiciness of the pumpkin pie with a late-harvest Muscat:
-Tim Gaiser, master sommelier
Photo: Scott Phillips
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