By Caitlin Switzer
MONTROSE—(November 19, 2013) Hungry locals have plenty of opportunities to indulge this Thanksgiving—whether you cook at home, share the Holiday meal with friends, or attend the always popular Montrose Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Friendship Hall from noon to 3 p.m. on Nov. 28, the options are seemingly endless. But how do those who cook for a living every day choose to celebrate America’s favorite feast?
Sean Redd, who spends most days at Camp Robber Café as a line cook, has the Holiday off this year. In honor of the occasion he has invited ten guests to his home for a party.
“I think I will be smoking my turkey,” Redd said,” with cilantro and lime juice infused under the skin, just to help it stay juicy.”
For side dishes, he has no intention of serving cranberry sauce in any form.
“I will have sweet potatoes, candied yams,” he said, “And of course mashed potatoes and corn gravy.”
Head Chef Roberta Masden will be on the job at Bridges of Montrose on Thanksgiving Day 2013.
“We are doing brunch here, with all hands on deck,” she said. “We will have turkey, roast beef and stuffed leg of lamb. For fun, we will also have things like Oysters Rockefeller, and crab stuffed shells with béchamel sauce. There will be chilled shrimp in an iced bowl, with two dipping sauces, and of course the traditional green salad, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes.”
Masden said the meal choices will also include fruit salad and several kinds of gravy, as well as hot brioche rolls.
“We will have our new dessert buffet,” she added. “It is really, really good this year.”
Tradition rules the holiday for Jeff Archer, who spends most days cooking at Pahgre’s Restaurant.
“This year I will be home, and I plan to have the typical turkey and mashed potatoes—all of the good stuff,” Archer said. “I like to keep things traditional for the holidays. My brother and I are both cooks, so we make everything from scratch.”
The big event will be dessert, he noted.
“I am going to make an Apple Brown Betty,” Archer said. “It’s more like a cobbler than traditional apple pie, with oatmeal and brown sugar.”
For Sarah Mandell of Flourish to Thrive, a healthy diet does not mean deprivation—especially on Thanksgiving.
Known for delicious but healthful meals, the popular Montrose chef has made everything from gluten-free fried chicken and dairy-free pumpkin pie for health conscious holiday meals. So when Mandell finds someone who is “tired of turkey,” she offers alternatives.
“I think pork tenderloin is festive and definitely steps up to the occasion,” Mandell said. “My go-to recipes are Pork Tenderloin with pears and shallots, from Epicurious.com (Bon Appetit/January 2010), and Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce (same website, same magazine Nov 1998).
“The balsamic cranberry sauce is fantastic and it certainly fits the bill for Thanksgiving,” she said, adding that sweet potatoes are also the perfect accompaniment to pork.
“Stuffing goes with either dish as well,” she said. “You can also switch it up and do a wild rice stuffing as your side dish. Wild rice is gluten-free, and is a grass rather a grain. And it’s delicious with a wonderful texture.”