The Calm Before the Feast: FN Stars' Wednesday-Night Game Plans

We chatted with Food Network stars about their pre-Turkey Day plans.
Related To:

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is full of travel, traffic – and tradition. As families descend upon their Thanksgiving destinations, it's a busy night for pizza spots, since no one feels much like cooking dinner. (If this is your game plan, we rounded up some of the best places across the country to pick up a pie.) At the New York City Wine & Food Festival, we chatted with Food Network stars about their pre-turkey day plans. Some choose to eat light to save up reserves for the big day, while others carb-load to get ready. What does your family do – and eat – the night before the big feast?

Alex Guarnaschelli

"The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I usually eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, because I am just cooking, and everything is just going into that Thanksgiving dinner already. The day before Thanksgiving, you don’t want to eat anything anyway. You’re saving up that extra reserve tank to fill it up with stuffing and mashed potatoes."

Damaris Phillips

"The Wednesday night before, my brothers are pretty hilarious and they always go light, but I don’t believe that’s the way to do it. I carb-load, so I typically eat pasta the night before. Stretch it out, get myself ready."

Jeff Mauro

"The night before, I think you keep it a little light. But you don’t want to shrink your stomach by not eating. So I have a medium-sized meal. That’s the greatest tactic."

Marcela Valladolid

"Wednesday before, everybody is getting quesadillas and popcorn for dinner. We’ve got turkeys and soccer tournaments [for my son] going on. So nothing major, probably just chilling and hanging out at the house."

Geoffrey Zakarian

"The Wednesday before, I’m either cooking or helping someone cook. This year we’re actually doing it at my house, which is unusual, because last year we went out."

Robert Irvine

"My travels are 345 days a year, so I could be on a plane the night before and get back late. But that’s in time for the special day. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for everything that we have."

Check out Food Network's Thanksgiving headquarters for all of your last-minute planning needs.

Next Up

Think Beyond the Can: Homemade Cranberry Sauces Fit for the Feast

This year, skip canned cranberries and make homemade cranberry sauce instead with the help of these simple recipes.

6 Ways (No Sandwiches!) to Transform Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Do more than reheat for Thanksgiving leftovers you'll love.

Hoppy Thanksgiving

Pop quiz: What are the top five grocery items sold during the week of Thanksgiving, excluding turkey?

Food Fight!: Turkey White Meat vs. Dark Meat

Do your guests fight over the turkey legs or the breast meat? After reading this, you’ll know the better choice.