November 7, 2012

Soup to Nuts: When chefs give thanks

We polled several of southern Maine's best-known cooks to learn how they observe Thanksgiving, with some entertaining, heart-warming, even surprising results.

By Meredith Goad
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 4)

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Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier

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Sam Hayward

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I usually cook Thanksgiving eve for 20 to 25 people, after a long day at the restaurant, panicked the entire day knowing that my day doesn't end with the last dessert or the kitchen breakdown. There is a long list of favorite foods that have been requested: Pumpkin cheesecake, roast duck(s), macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls and sourdough batards (fresh no less), apple pie and sweet potatoes. I would like to say my heart rate is climbing, and it's weeks away.

The times we share are and will always be cherished, but the gathering of Thanksgiving is truly the one day of the year that I enjoy most.

Guilty pleasure: When my mom was still with us, despite the fresh cranberry-orange jam I made, it wasn't Thanksgiving for anyone until someone found a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce -- you know, the one that needed both ends opened and held the can shape until mom started slicing. Or the new tradition of fruit cocktail folded into Cool Whip, a family favorite that my wife's family has had since she was a little girl. 

DAVID ROSS, 50 Local, Kennebunk

Yes, I cook Thanksgiving dinner every year. My father and I really get into it and usually do a traditional dinner of turkey, potatoes, greens, squash and stuffing.

The table setting is pretty large, with five kids and around 20 adults.

Last year, I did a sous vide turkey that came out so good -- brined, bathed, roasted at the end. I always do one traditional bird with bread stuffing, though.

Guilty pleasure: Tortiere (Canadian meat pie) is the passion of the holidays for us ... cooking from my grandmother's recipe. If we get fancy, it's with the soup (chesnut mostarda, lobster parsnip, etc.)

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

Twitter: MeredithGoad


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Additional Photos

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David Turin

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Harding Smith

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Lisa Kostopoulos

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Chris Bassett


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