20 Chefs Share Their Top Tips For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving.

20 Chefs Share Their Top Tips For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving. November 25, 2017

One of the greatest things about professional chefs is that they think about more than just the food; they think about the overall experience, everything from the prep to the cleanup. This is just as true in their homes as it is in the workplace. Below you’ll find **20 Thanksgiving Tips From Professional Chefs**, including how the famous Susan Feniger sets the mood, what secret ingredient Spanish American chef José Andrés adds to perfect his mashed potatoes, and what beverage Gale Gand, a James Beard Award winner, enjoys with her turkey. Some of these tips are nice and subtle – you might be doing some already, but there’s a self-validation factor seeing it here – while others are a bit quirkier. **Pick and choose what works for you, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.**”I always have fun, upbeat music playing as people enter the house. Then during dinner we switch gears to piano or jazz to allow for more conversation.” —Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Los Angeles

“Make sure all of your side dishes are done the day before.” —IRON CHEF Geoffrey Zakarian

“On Thanksgiving day, only worry about making turkey and gravy.” —Nick Anderer, Marta

“One of my favorite dishes to make is mashed potatoes with La Serena cheese (a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese). The cheese makes the potatoes so creamy.” —José Andrés, Minibar, Washington, D.C.

“If you’re making a salad as part of the meal, serve it during the main course instead of as a starter. It helps with digestion.” —Joey Campanaro, The Little Owl, New York City

“I put half a cup of coffee beans in the cavity of the turkey. It creates great depth of flavor.” —Tom Douglas, Dahlia Lounge, Seattle

“Make your own hand roll sushi with your family.” —IRON CHEF Masaharu Morimoto

“As my Thanksgiving crowd grew, I started doing the meal as a buffet. I put the food out in the kitchen and people walk through and take what they want. They gather in different areas to eat and mingle, and it’s so much fun.” —Marc Vetri Vetri, Philadelphia

“I always use bourbon in my brines. Most bourbons have smoky, woody notes, which give a turkey fantastic flavor.” —Rob Feenie, Cactus Club Cafe, Vancouver

“Don’t try to serve the entire meal hot—you usually don’t have enough space or burners. One of my favorite dishes is a green bean salad that you can serve at room temperature.” —Marc Murphy, Landmarc, New York City

“I like to have a few bottles of white wine and champagne open along with several flavored liqueurs so people can create their own drinks.” —John Besh, August, New Orleans

“Don’t get sucked into ingredient ego. You don’t need to source every last ingredient directly from the farm.” —Andrew Carmellini, The Dutch, New York City

“My favorite side dish is Brussels sprouts. Fry them in oil, and instead of adding salt, add a little soy sauce and citrus. It’s the best way to cut the grease.” —Gavin Kaysen, Cafe Boulud, New York City

“Serve a couple of dishes that you know how to make just in case you mess up the turkey. That way, you will still have something good to eat.” —Jon Shook, Animal, Los Angeles

“A crown roast of lamb is one of my favorite Thanksgiving feasts. The lamb is rich and decadent for a fall celebration.” —Kelly Liken, Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail, CO

“Drink rosé with turkey.” —Gale Gand, Cookbook author

“My favorite gadget for Thanksgiving is a mini blowtorch. I pass it around for do-it-yourself brûlée on the individual pumpkin crème brûlées I make. People love playing with fire.” —Judy Joo, Playboy Club, London Note: Not recommended for children.

“Every Thanksgiving, I order a classic cheesecake from Junior’s in Brooklyn. I know everything is supposed to be homemade during the holidays, but I figure, why not have the best?” —David Myers, Hinoki and the Bird, Los Angeles

“I pulse leftover dark turkey meat in a food processor and mix it with diced baked sweet potatoes and stuffing. I pan-fry it until crisp to make a hash and serve it with a fried egg.” —Seamus Mullen, Tertulia, New York City

“One thing that’ll make it go a lot quicker: Don’t use your sink. Fill a big bucket or plastic bin with soapy water, and when plates come back let them soak in there. That makes the end-of-the-night job a whole lot easier and keeps your sink from overflowing.” —Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, New York City