Miami Chefs Share Thanksgiving Favorites

November 21, 2012 | by —LIANA LOZADA | Homepage


Jose Mendin, director of culinary operations at Pubbelly Restaurants 

"The best thing about Thanksgiving for me was the turkey salad sandwich my mom made the next day with stuffing and cranberry mayo. Delicious!"—Jose Mendin, Pubbelly Restaurants

"As a kid, my grandparents would handle most of the cooking. My grandma raised turkeys, geese, and chickens. I learned not to name the turkeys. We picked up the pecans, got the food fresh, and lived off the land. It was like a kid's playground."—Jeff McInnis, Yardbird

"I'm Haitian and a traditional dish for us is onion pie—it’s one of my favorites. It looks somewhat like an apple pie, it has a pie crust, parmesan cheese, cream, melted butter, and sautéed onions."—Christina Coupet, La Côte

"I love molé poblano from my abuelita, Raquel. The traditional molé sauce is prepared with roasted and peeled tomatoes, raisins, and chocolate, producing an amazing golden brown color. Poultry is then placed in the sauce and simmered slowly. The key to this dish is lots of love and patience."—Oscar del Rivero, Jaguar Ceviche, Talavera Restaurant, and Peacock Garden Café

"The first Thanksgiving after I became a professional chef, I had just moved into my first home and went all out. I did so many things, from pheasant three ways to crock pot turkey and dumplings; it was madness. As far as favorite dishes, I love a good authentic pumpkin pie, not too sweet and served with farm-fresh, non-sweet cream."—Sean Brasel, Meat Market

"My favorite dish by far had to be the turkey with braised red cabbage and mashed potatoes. My aunt would make the most amazing gravy. As for desserts, I love vanilla panna cotta with crumble cookies, caramel, and sea salt."—Sergio Sigala, Cecconi's

"After my father passed away on Thanksgiving morning 12 years ago, it has always been a very special holiday to me. It was the day I realized the power of food—it’s a vehicle for energy and emotion. I was able to bring my family together with a special meal prepared with love. Every Thanksgiving is now cooked and enjoyed in his honor.”—Julie Frans, Essensia

"Growing up in an Italian family we always had turkey to keep with Thanksgiving tradition, but we also made porchetta to combat mom's dry turkey. It makes for great leftovers, especially for sandwiches.”—Michael Pirolo, Macchialina

"My favorite Thanksgiving memories surround my great aunt Rose's house and my great grandmother Nonni. They cooked in a ridiculously small kitchen but made food beyond belief.”—Peter Vauthy, Red, the Steakhouse

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