If Anyone Could Cook Me Thanksgiving Dinner…


Photo Credit- Zachary Zavislak

As the sun comes up,  the sweet aroma of basted turkey goodness travels throughout kitchens across America. At the same time, tons of us will undoubtedly be slaving away to produce the same old Turkey Day staples that have seemingly been around since the industrial revolution. This is a shame to me.

With so many amazing ingredients readily available, and any recipe conceivable easily found on the internet; how are people still eating that same old green bean casserole? That played out dish of sweet potatoes and marshmallow topping? The boring old boxed stuffing?

America is quickly becoming a foodie’s paradise, and Thanksgiving is our national holiday. What is a better way to celebrate than to eat some of the most delicious food known to man?

Sure, we aren’t all capable of creating James Beard worthy cuisine, but we can definitely dream about eating it on this Thanksgiving. If I could choose any chef to cook me Thanksgiving dinner now, these would be a few of my nominees!

The Celebrities

Courtesy of Food Network

Emeril Lagasse

Who wouldn’t want to hear the signature “Bam” coming from their kitchen, as you sat on the couch drinking an IPA and watching the Lions lose on Thanksgiving again? I know I sure would. If you have ever eaten at any of Emeril’s restaurants, you know how good he really is as a food visionary. It was, after all, his persona that changed America’s perception of food.

I remember the first Thanksgiving creation I ever made. I was about 13, and I watched the “Bam Man” make the most ridiculous sounding stuffing. To this day, I’m still not sure who Miss Hilda is, but chorizo remains one of my favorite ingredients. Emeril holds a Turkey Day soft spot for me.

Mario Batali

One of my brother’s best friends growing up was Italian. Every year we would make sure to end up at his mother’s house for some stuffed shells, or sausage and peppers. This fond memory of tomatoes and basil, is why I felt the need to include the orange croc wearing, Italian history spouting Batali on my list. In a 2011 article by the New York Post, Batali gave recipes for an “anarchist Thanksgiving”. Aiming to put an end to the same old recipes, in favor of a sort of nouvelle cuisine. Sound familiar?

The Not-So Celebrities

Jon Shook

Now, I have never eaten any food from Jon Shook. But let’s make it known, anyone whose restaurant is dubbed Animal is alright in my book. I have also seen him in action as an Iron Chef America contestant. This dude can bring it!

At the moment, Shook is a hot chef in the Los Angeles food scene, in the midst of building culinary empire. In addition to his acclaimed Animal and the similarly catchy-named Son of a Gun (Both co-owned with Vinny Dotola), Shook is involved with short-lived Anthony Bourdain co-host, Ludo Lefebvre, at the ticket-required Trois could do with an entire Thanksgiving meal.

Courtesy of Coppa

Jaime Bissonnette

For a guy who grew up as a vegan, Jamie Bissonnette sure can cook some carne! For my money, his restaurant Toro, is the best food I have eaten during my time living in Boston. This Spanish inspired, tapas hub, is a premier foodie destination in Boston. After gaining so much popularity, the concept recently made its debut in New York with the opening of Toro: NYC. The particular dish that stands out to me at Toro is the Corazon. This smoked beef heart with Romesco, on toast, is so good, Bissonnette made sure to include the item on the Manhattan menu. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

I can’t be sure what Bissonnette would prepare for Thanksgiving, but any chef who would say Kosher dill pickle with Liverwurst is one of the eight dishes that made his careersurely understands the meaning of good food!

The Winner(s)

As much as I would like to go on naming the best chefs you have and haven’t heard of, I have to be honest. If I could have anyone make me a Thanksgiving meal this year, it would be either my Mom, or my Dad. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be with my family this holiday. And as much as Thanksgiving is about good food and football, the true joy of Thanksgiving comes with family and friends sharing a meal and some memories.

Have a great Turkey Day from FoodSided!