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NB Chefs Share Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving celebrates food like no other holiday! In honor of this indulgent, delicious day, we reached out to some Newport Beach chefs to find out how they will be spending this Thanksgiving and hear about some of their favorite traditions.

untitledFive Crowns / Side Door’s Executive Chef Steve Kling

Will you be working Thanksgiving?
Yes, I’ll be working that day. It’s one of our busiest days of the year and requires a lot of careful planning, preparation, and execution.

Will you be cooking for family and friends?
Unfortunately, I won’t be around for my family’s Thanksgiving gathering but I try to at least contribute a side dish of some kind.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Actually, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I have a lot to be thankful for plus I enjoy the spirit of it quite a bit. Getting together with loved ones and eating (and likely, drinking) to excess. I celebrate the day after thanksgiving, so I guess my favorite tradition would be a leftover turkey and stuffing sandwich.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish to make?
I like making the turkey whenever I get the chance. I happen to like turkey and I try to do right by it. A proper brine, followed by a good slathering of thyme & tarragon mayonnaise before roasting over a lot of root vegetables and herbs flavor the drippings.

lighthouseChef Ryan Sumner – Lighthouse Bayview Cafe

Will you be working Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving Day is a very special time of year, therefore, we will close the restaurant so our team can spend some family time to enjoy the holiday.

Will you be cooking for family and friends?
My family usually has a small Thanksgiving with our close friends and immediate family. We like to keep it to traditional fare; roast turkey, sweet potato mash with pecans and those mini marshmallows, my moms green apple and sausage stuffing, green bean casserole, and of course the usual holiday goodies.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Since most of my family has busy lives it’s nice for everybody to come together and sit around the dinner table sharing stories, eating food, and drinking wine. It’s a day for everybody to just relax and not be on a schedule.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish to make?
Always as a kid and still to this day my favorite is the green bean casserole. There’s something about the green beans mixed with the Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup topped off with French’s crispy onions. Can’t get enough of it.

About Chef Ryan Sumner
Lighthouse Bayview Café Chef Ryan Sumner is a 25-year-old cook from Southern California. His passion for food began while working at his parents market, Irvine Ranch Market in Costa Mesa, CA. He got to see the seasonal change of produce and was introduced to a variety of different foods.

Photo Credit: Lyudmila Zotova

Photo Credit: Lyudmila Zotova

Chef Brian Huskey – Tackle Box

Will you be working?
Up until three years ago, for the last 14 years i had worked every holiday service, many time both lunch dinner and even brunch: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Mothers & Fathers day – you name it. I am grateful now that i have the ability to spend Thanksgiving with my family and close friends.

Will you be cooking for family and friends?
Yes, this will be the 3rd time for Thanksgiving I will be cooking for my immediate and extended family. It is a family tradition to alternate between my aunt’s house, mom and dads house and hitting a “fancy” hotel Thanksgiving buffet. This year, we will be enjoying the holiday feast at my parents’ house in Pasadena and I will be in charge of executing the thanksgiving spread. Can’t wait… brings me back to the Top Chef challenges. Its always a fun challenge cooking a “gourmet” spread for 20+ people using home appliances and one oven making sure all the food is timed and executed properly so all dishes are served at optimal temperatures. All the love and time one puts into cooking is always rewarded with glowing smiles and happy stomachs!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
When I was younger, waking up early and helping mom prep. At our house we would do a hybrid Thanksgiving. We would have a traditional “American” spread (turkey, ham, green beans, stuffing, butternut squash, creamed corn, pumpkin pie, the whole nine). In addition my mom would also prepare Korean style short ribs on the grill and japchae (Korean glass noodles). Thanksgiving is my first memory of cooking with my mom.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish to make?
My favorite Thanksgiving dish to make is STUFFING… key to a BOMB Thanksgiving meal. I usually make a savory stuffing using lots of mire poix, thyme, sage, and bits of rendered maple sausage.

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Written by Rachel Sherman

Rachel Sherman is an upcoming photographer and writer from Newport Beach, California. Although she was born and raised here by the beach, Rachel’s passion for traveling has taken her around the world to places such as England, France, Italy, and China. She recently graduated with honors holding a bachelors degree in Communications, with a concentration in visual communications, and minors in both Radio/TV/Film and Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. During her time there, she hosted a weekly rock ’n’ roll based radio show on Titan Radio called Good Rockin’ Tonight. Rachel has always had a genuine enthusiasm for photography, travel, culture, and adventure. Drawing constant inspiration from her love for the cinema, simple beautiful landscapes, as well as vintage atmospheres, these details shine through her photographs and inspire her writing. For more information on Rachel Sherman, or to view her personal works, please visit: www.rachelssherman.com

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