Food Network Stars' Thanksgiving Traditions
Wondering what your favorite chefs have up their sleeves (and in their ovens) for next Thursday? We caught up with more than a dozen Food Network stars about their unique Thanksgiving traditions with family and friends. Bobby hosts a themed Thanksgiving for 50, Alex does double-dinner duty and Guy likens his epic outdoor feast to "a shotgun wedding". Read on and check out the full gallery for all the tasty details.
"Thanksgiving is usually 50 people at my house that I cook for. It's just a tradition every year where I cook two 30-pound turkeys for family and friends, and I usually theme the Thanksgiving. We usually pick a theme that has to do with an occurrence that has taken place in the world. So the year of Hurricane Katrina, for instance, we did all Louisiana food."
"I do a ton of cooking. This year I'm taking my daughter to volunteer at a food bank, because I think there should be a little bit of that experience at the holidays. My daughter and I are going to have Thanksgiving with family, and then she and I are going to cook our own holiday private dinner after. So we use the holidays as an excuse to make several sets of dinners."
"I've been married for three years, and Gail and I are normally on the road. But when we're at home, a new tradition has started to have my girls and cook, you know, the whole nine yards. My girls are 17 and 13 now. They used to go into soup kitchens and give their time on that day. But now we cook and we all go to the soup kitchen. So it's a new tradition."
"I don't usually go home to my family for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving it's kind of my New York City family. New York City families, they're usually not people you're related to, but people that are in your life every day, and so you kind of adopt them as your family. All New Yorkers have their New York family. Sometimes it's at my house, sometimes it's at someone else's house. But I'm always a turkey briner. I brine my turkey for three days. Every year people tell me my turkey is the best turkey they have ever had because it's juicy and delicious and super flavorful. I've gotten my turkey recipe down. I just am a very classic Thanksgiving kind of person. I love my turkey the same way every year. I love my stuffing the same way every year. Every bite of Thanksgiving dinner, I need to have the perfectly composed bite. So it's turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes on every forkful."
"You know, some people have a lot of traditions, but we don't think Thanksgiving is that big a deal because we eat like pigs all the time. Thanksgiving is about food, and layer a holiday about food on top of all people do is talk about food. It's almost like glut fest. We don't look at it as stress at all because we love it. It's just more of what we do."
"Everybody brings food. We all put it on the kitchen island, and then everyone stands around for four or five hours just looking at the food and picking at the food. Just grazing, and then we eat the meal, and it stays out and we eat again. It is hilarious."
"We start with pasta. Like a first course of homemade ravioli. One or two, nothing too crazy. My grandma makes sausage bread, which we all fill up on. So I rarely eat the dinner after. You know, I eat the appetizers that are laid out before we sit down. I go to two: my in-laws and my side. I usually have two Thanksgivings. Double duty."
"My family doesn't really have unique holiday traditions because we're prior military. My dad is a veteran and I am as well. So usually when we were growing up and traveling we were in different cities, different towns, states, countries, so our Thanksgivings were usually pretty standard because we always wanted them to feel like home and be the same. It was like our one thing that was always the same. So nothing really outlandish. But I will say, when I tell people about my mom's dressing with oysters in it, they make a funny face. It's never a good face, but I'm just like, you just have to try it. Trust me, it's delicious."
"For the last three or four years, I've cooked my entire Thanksgiving dinner for 60 people with wood on the back of my barbecue trailer: five big turkeys, two heritage and three supermarket. And I make everything with my buddies cooking outdoors, rain or shine. I eat in my barn in my hometown, in the little town I was raised in, in Ferndale. This year it's changing. We're gonna go to another location and do another outdoor experience. But it usually involves dirt bikes and riding ATVs and our Polaris RZRs. You know, doing all that. So we're not, "Somebody's gonna make cranberry, somebody’s gonna make mashed potatoes." It's always like a shotgun wedding. It's a brigade of people coming in and getting it done. And it's a big feed."
Check out the full gallery to hear from more Food Network stars about their Thanksgiving plans and traditions.